Jul 17 2013

Heal My Heart

Guest writer Mary Roberts lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Zachary and their son.

Guest writer Mary Roberts lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with her husband Zachary and their son.

Today I was thinking about things… I was raised to respect others and treat others the way I would want them to treat me. I was taught wrong is always wrong no matter how many people are doing it. I was taught no matter what someone does to you, never stoop down to their low. Always be nice even when they are far from it. I may not have very many close friends but that’s OK. My dad was my best friend and I’ve learn so much from him in the 21yrs I had with him. I am a lot like him today because I spent so much time learning how to treat others by the way he treated others. I may have a delicate heart. I will always look for the good in others. I will always be truthful. I will always try and help others and never look for something in return. I will do my best to do as I am asked, and do it without complaining. Unfortunately, I have been taken advantage of and been called naive because of some of the things I have just listed. I have a gentle spirit and sometimes get my feelings hurt easy or get upset because of the way people treat each other. I feel like God has always given me compassion for others because no matter what they’ve done or what has been done to them I feel their pain or my heart hurts for what they have went through.

Hillsong’s song Hosanna says it perfectly:

Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity

This is the compassion for people God has laid on my heart from an early age. I was blessed to have such a loving home that I never understood why people are so hateful.

I remember one night I was placed in a situation I had never seen first hand. And it was someone being brutally, verbally abused and I didn’t know what to do. I remember driving home bawling because my heart hurt so much for that person and I didn’t understand how someone could be so hateful. And then later when that person treats you just as bad as they were treated, you realize you are not sorry for yourself, you are sorry for them. They have been hurt so much all they know to do know is hurt others and hold hate in their hearts when things don’t go as planned. But I still forgave them even though they tried to publicly humiliate me and hurt me just because they were feeling hurt. I still wonder how people hold so much hate and unforgiveness in their hearts because it would tear me apart. But again that is just who I am. This scripture hits home for me in this situation. “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) I’ve realized that all I can do is pray for those who hurt me and let them go. Forgiveness is easy, trusting again is not. We can cannot help ourselves until we learn to forgive others and look past it. No matter who has hurt you in life you must forgive and move on.

Holding hate and unforgiveness will only cause you to hurt others as you have been hurt. It will keep you from a life of happiness. And you will become someone you never imagined you could become. In the end you will regret all the hurtful things you have done by simply choosing to not forgive. I pray that this touches someone and they learn to forgive what or who ever has come against them. Life is too short to hold on to things and live a life of unforgiveness. Learn to love others no matter what they have done. And live a life of love.

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Jul 05 2013

Remember God, America (II)

The following article was written by David Barton and reposted from wallbuilders.com, continued:

These men took this pledge seriously. Robert Morris of Pennsylvania is an example of the highest level of integrity. He was chosen as the financier of the American Revolution. What an honor, except that there was no bank willing to give any loans to help fund the revolution. It was three years and the Battle of Saratoga before America got any kind of funding at all. After winning that battle, foreign nations like France, Holland, and others decided maybe we weren’t such a bad risk and began loaning us money. So where did we get money for the first three years? Congress, at that time, could not have obtained a loan of one thousand dollars, yet Robert Morris effected loans upon his own credit, of tens of thousands. In 1781, George Washington conceived the expedition against Cornwallis, at Yorktown. He asked Judge Peters of Pennsylvania, “What can you do for me?” “With money, everything, without it, nothing,” he replied, at the same time turning with anxious look toward Mr. Morris. “Let me know the sum you desire,” said Mr. Morris; and before noon Washington’s plan and estimates were complete. Robert Morris promised him the amount, and he raised it upon his own responsibility. It has been justly remarked, that: “If it were not demonstrable by official records, posterity would hardly be made to believe that the campaign of 1781, which resulted in the capture of Cornwallis, and virtually closed the Revolutionary War, was sustained wholly on the credit of an individual merchant.” America couldn’t repay him because there was no money and yet Robert Morris never complained because he had given his word.

You see the same thing in the life of John Hart. He was a strong Christian gentleman and Speaker of the House of Representatives in New Jersey. He promised to help provide them with guidance and leadership. There were three things that were important in his life; his Savior, his family and his farm. Because of his signature on the Declaration, the British were seeking him (and the rest of the signers) to execute as traitors. John Hart fled his home after which his farm was ravaged, his timber destroyed, his cattle and stock butchered for the use of the British army. He did not dare to remain two nights in the same location. After Washington’s success at the battle of Trenton, he finally returned home to find that his wife had died and his children scattered. He lost almost everything that was important to him but kept his word.

John Hancock, a very wealthy individual lived in a mansion reflecting his princely fortune – one of the largest in the Province of Massachusetts. During the time the American army besieged Boston to rid it of the British, the American officers proposed the entire destruction of the city. “By the execution of such a plan, the whole fortune of Mr. Hancock would have been sacrificed. Yet he readily acceded to the measure, declaring his willingness to surrender his all, whenever the liberties of his country should require it.” A man of his word, he demonstrated his integrity.

The 16 Congressional proclamations for prayer and fasting throughout the Revolution were not bland (i.e., the acknowledgment of Jesus Christ, the quoting of Romans 14:17, etc.); however, this is not unusual considering the prominent role that many ministers played in the Revolution.

One such example is John Peter Muhlenburg. In a sermon delivered to his Virginia congregation on January 21, 1776, he preached verse by verse from Ecclesiastes 3 – the passage which speaks of a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Arriving at verse 8, which declares that there is a time of war and a time of peace, Muhlenburg noted that this surely was not the time of peace; this was the time of war. Concluding with a prayer, and while standing in full view of the congregation, he removed his clerical robes to reveal that beneath them he was wearing the uniform of an officer in the Continental army! He marched to the back of the church; ordered the drum to beat for recruits and nearly three hundred men joined him, becoming the Eighth Virginia Brigade. John Peter Muhlenburg finished the Revolution as a Major-General, having been at Valley Forge and having participated in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Stonypoint, and Yorktown.

Another minister-leader in the Revolution was the Reverend James Caldwell. His actions during one battle inspired a painting showing him standing with a stack of hymn books in his arms while engaged in the midst of a fierce battle against the British outside a battered Presbyterian church. During the battle, the Americans had developed a serious problem: they had run out of wadding for their guns, which was just as serious as having no ammunition. Reverend Caldwell recognized the perfect solution; he ran inside the church and returned with a stack of Watts Hymnals – one of the strongest doctrinal hymnals of the Christian faith (Isaac Watts authored “O God Our Help In Ages Past,” “Joy to the World,” “Jesus Shall Reign,” and several other classic hymns). Distributing the Watts Hymnals among the soldiers served two purposes: first, its pages would provide the needed wadding; second, the use of the hymnal carried a symbolic message. Reverend Caldwell took that hymn book – the source of great doctrine and spiritual truth – raised it up in the air and shouted to the Americans, “Give ’em Watts, boys!”

The spiritual emphasis manifested so often by the Americans during the Revolution caused one Crown-appointed British governor to write to Great Britain complaining that: “If you ask an American who is his master, he’ll tell you he has none. And he has no governor but Jesus Christ.”

Letters like this, and sermons like those preached by the Reverend Peter Powers titled “Jesus Christ the King,” gave rise to a sentiment that has been described as a motto of the American Revolution. Most Americans are unaware that the Revolution might have had mottoes, but many wars do (e.g., in the Texas’ war for independence, it was “Remember the Alamo”; in the Union side in the Civil War, it was “In God We Trust”; in World War I, it was “Remember the Lusitania”; in World War II, it was “Remember Pearl Harbor”; etc.). A motto of the American Revolution directed against the tyrant King George III and the theologically discredited doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings (which asserted that when the king spoke, it was the voice of God speaking directly to the people) was simple and direct: “No King but King Jesus!” Another motto (first suggested by Benjamin Franklin and often repeated during the Revolution) was similar in tone: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

Preserving American liberty depends first upon our understanding the foundations on which this great country was built and then preserving the principles on which it was founded. Let’s not let the purpose for which we were established be forgotten. The Founding Fathers have passed us a torch; let’s not let it go out.

Download Billy Graham’s “How to Pray for our Country

“A nation without God’s guidance is a nation without order. Happy are those who keep God’s law!” Proverbs 29:18

american-flag-with-praying

Visit Man in the Moon for information on the event being held in Salt Lake City this year on July 6th

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Jul 04 2013

Remember God, America (I)

The following article was written by David Barton and reposted from wallbuilders.com

This year marks (over) 230 years since our Founding Fathers gave us our National Birth Certificate. We continue to be the longest on-going Constitutional Republic in the history of the world. Blessings such as these are not by chance or accidental. They are blessings of God.

On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards – July 4th – the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, albeit by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”

To see the turmoil in other nations, their struggles and multiple revolutions, and yet to see the stability and blessings that we have here in America, we may ask how has this been achieved? What was the basis of American Independence? John Adams said “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” Perhaps the clearest identification of the spirit of the American Revolution was given by John Adams in a letter to Abigail the day after Congress approved the Declaration. He wrote her two letters on that day; the first was short and concise, jubilant that the Declaration had been approved. The second was much longer and more pensive, giving serious consideration to what had been done that day. Adams cautiously noted: “This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

It is amazing that on the very day they approved the Declaration, Adams was already foreseeing that their actions would be celebrated by future generations. Adams contemplated whether it would be proper to hold such celebrations, but then concluded that the day should be commemorated – but in a particular manner and with a specific spirit. As he told Abigail: “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

John Adams believed that the Fourth of July should become a religious holiday – a day when we remembered God’s hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him in “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” Such was the spirit of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of those who led it, evidenced even further in the words of John Quincy Adams, one who was deeply involved in the activities of the Revolution.

In 1837, when he was 69 years old, he delivered a Fourth of July speech at Newburyport, Massachusetts. He began that address with a question: “Why is it, friends and fellow citizens, that you are here assembled? Why is it that entering on the 62nd year of our national existence you have honored [me] with an invitation to address you. . . ?”

The answer was easy: they had asked him to address them because he was old enough to remember what went on; they wanted an eye-witness to tell them of it! He next asked them: “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the world, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day [the Fourth of July]?”

An interesting question: why is it that in America the Fourth of July and Christmas were our two top holidays? Note his answer: “Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”

According to John Quincy Adams, Christmas and the Fourth of July were intrinsically connected. On the Fourth of July, the Founders simply took the precepts of Christ which came into the world through His birth (Christmas) and incorporated those principles into civil government.

Have you ever considered what it meant for those 56 men – an eclectic group of ministers, business men, teachers, university professors, sailors, captains, farmers – to sign the Declaration of Independence? This was a contract that began with the reasons for the separation from Great Britain and closed in the final paragraph stating “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Dr. Benjamin Rush, the father of American Medicine and a signer, recorded that day in his diary. In 1781, he wrote to John Adams “Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the House when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe to what was believed by many at that time to be our death warrants? The silence and gloom of the morning was interrupted, I well recollect, only for a moment by Colonel Harrison of Virginia (a big guy) who said to Mr. Gerry (small in stature) at the table: ‘I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for what we are now doing… From the size and weight of my body I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead.’ This speech procured a transient smile, but it was soon succeeded by the solemnity with which the whole business was conducted.”

(To be continued…)

bible-american-flag

Visit Man in the Moon for information on the event being held in Salt Lake City this year on July 6th.

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Jun 29 2013

Listen to the Music ~ !!

NatalieGrant-Aug2010Here are just a few of the great recording artists out there in the music industry making a difference for Christ and writing inspiring songs to strengthen our passion for God and songs of worship to Him! Kathy and I recommend listening to Christ-following artists over secular ones as often as possible because music ministers to your soul and finds a place to plant seeds. We know it’s nearly impossible to avoid non-Christ-centered music and some of it is kind of fun, but what we listen to matters. We hope you’ll join us in enjoying the following. There is a lot of history in Christian music. Search current and past artists so you find the kind of music you enjoy because whether you enjoy the sounds of pop or gospel, hip-hop or alternative rock, country or folk – you can find an artist with the sound you enjoy who also loves Jesus, whether they’re on the radio or not!

Amy Grant: How Mercy Looks From Here

Michael W. Smith: Wonder, Glory, Decades of Worship, Stand, Freedom

Rich Mullins: Songs, Songs II, Here in America

Mitch McVicker: Underneath, Love Will Rise, Chasing the Horizon

Sidewalk Prophets: The Simple Truths, Love Like That

Mercy Me: Spoken For, The Hurt and the Healer

Delirious: History Makers, Deeper, King of Fools

Newsboys: God’s Not Dead, Go, The Ultimate Collection

Carman: Heart of a Champion, Anthems of a Champion

Aaron Shust: This is What We Believe

Chris Tomlin: How Great is Our God, Hello Love

Casting Crowns: Casting Crowns, Lifesong

Third Day: Offerings, Chronology 1 & 2

Bethel Worship: The Loft Sessions, Here is Love

Natalie Grant: Hurricane, Love Revolution

Toby Mac: Eye on It, (DC Talk: Jesus Freak, Supernatural)

Matt Redman: 10,000 Reasons

David Crowder Band: All This for a King

Here’s the top radio plays for Christian music on Billboard’s listing: http://www.billboard.com/charts/christian-songs

Here’s the place to watch and find information on the Christian music awards called the Dove Awards: http://www.doveawards.com/

 

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Jun 26 2013

Do You Read?

945298_10200660679152643_849129641_nChristianBook.com has thousands of resources and books to help us grow in our relationship with Jesus and learn what Scripture says. Kathy and I strongly encourage you to read the Bible yourself and discover the Holy Spirit as your Teacher. Also, we encourage you to select help and teaching from Christian authors and preachers who teach the Word and inspire your worship for the Lord and loving others. If you have need for those kind of resources you can usually find some in your local church communities, but if not we recommend using your local Christian bookstores and Christianbook.com instead of places like Amazon.com.

Here are some books we recommend depending on your need and interest:

by Francis Chan…

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples

Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit

Erasing Hell: What God Said About Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up

by Beth Moore…

Believing God: Experiencing a Fresh Explosion of Faith

David: Seeking a Heart Like His

Jesus: 90 Days with the One and Only

Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit

Breaking Free: Discover the Victory of Total Surrender

James: Mercy Triumphs–Member Book

Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman

by Kyle Idleman…

Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of  Jesus

by Leslie Ludy…

Authentic Beauty: The Shaping of a Set-Apart Young Woman

by John Piper…

When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy

by Philip Yancey…

What’s So Amazing About Grace?

by Judah Smith…

Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human

by William Paul Young

The Shack (fiction)

by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Love and Respect for a Lifetime

by Bob George…

Classic Christianity: Life’s Too Short to Miss the Real Thing

by Andrew Wommack…

A Better Way to Pray: Revolutionize Your Prayer Life, Revitalize Your Relationship

The War is Over: God is Not Mad, So Stop Struggling With Sin and Judgment

Living in the Balance of Grace and Faith: Combining Two Powerful Forces to Receive From God

by Brennan Manning…

The Ragamuffin Gospel

by G.K. Chesterton…

Orthodoxy

by C.S. Lewis…

The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics (Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, A Grief Observed, The Abolition of Man)

by Lee Strobel…

The Case for Christ

by Stormie Omartian…

Power of a Praying Husband

Power of a Praying Wife

by Joshua Harris…

I Kissed Dating Goodbye, A New Attitude Toward Romance and  Relationships

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Jun 22 2013

Have You Been to XXXChurch.com?

xxxchurchXXXChurch.com and StripChurch.com are ministry websites and blogs that provide God’s Word, accountability, support, resources, and unconditional love to those in the porn and strip dance industries as well as those who participate as customers.

Porn Addiction Recovery

Porn addiction is one of the most difficult addictions to overcome, but XXXchurch.com is your resource online to fight porn addiction. We prevail through awareness, prevention, and recovery. Pornography addiction is threatening lives, families, and children. XXXchurch offers addiction recovery resources for men, women, parents, and couples. We have weekly articles on how to conquer difficult issues, as well as porn accountability and filtering software. Take a minute to take the sexual addiction test below. Break porn addiction and sexual addiction. Get treatment for pornography addiction if you are a sex addict or a porn addict. Quit porn today.

At Strip Church, we serve, teach, and equip women across the world who share a heart and calling to reach those in the sex industry. We provide 3-4 Training Conferences each year, developing 30-50 people each time, training new leaders to do strip club and sex industry ministry in their home cities. Our Strip Church Network is supported through monthly training conference calls, resources, networked websites, blogs, prayer, and branded materials to use inside the clubs.

Both of these fantastic ministries are founded by Fireproof Ministries which is headed by Craig Gross, author and speaker. He has many books available including The Gutter, which discusses the ministry of Jesus and how we exemplify that by ministering and loving people where they are, in the streets and the gutters.

strip-church-logoFrom Craig:

My name is Craig Gross and back in January of 1999 I left my job as a youth pastor and began Fireproof Ministries with my best friend Jake Larson. We started Craig and Jake LIVE, speaking at youth events and eventually put on our own events across the country. A few years later after seeing so many young people devastated by the effects of pornography I saw a need to create a safe place online where people could get help and the truth about pornography and in early 2002 launched XXXchurch.com.
The ministry of XXXchurch has gone all over the world. Over 100 million people have visited the website or read about the ministry online. We have over 1 million people using our FREE accountability software X3watch, and recently our X3Watch Pro product now includes filtering!

The ministry of Fireproof has become a launching pad for new ministry projects and ideas. In 2008, we launched Strip church, which is a ministry that reaches out to people who work amongst the sex industry in Nevada and in 2011, we expanded that vision to create the Strip Church Network which provides training and support for sex industry ministries across the world.

God Bless, Craig Gross

 

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Jun 19 2013

How Old is Earth?

NoahsArk

Here is a great link to learn much more about the age of our plant: www.creation.com/age-of-the-earth

“With 95% of the Christians I meet unable to defend their faith in God, the Church is in trouble. We want to teach people to ‘know’ and ‘defend’ their Creator.” — Eric Hovind

www.creationtoday.org

Creation Today is a Bible-based ministry dedicated to impacting the world to KNOW the Creator — GOD! Creation Today produces some of the most requested resources available on creation, apologetics and evangelism.

How old is the earth? 6,000 years or 600,000,000,000 years?

Was all this really made in 6 literal days?

What happened to the dinosaurs?

Did we come from monkeys?

Is Evolution all myth?

How did God flood the whole earth?

How can I defend Christianity at my university?

How do I know there is a God?

Is there any scientific evidence to support Creation and the Bible?

How do I defend my beliefs that the Bible is entirely true?

and many more questions are asked and discussed in the resources available through Creation Today! Using scripture, science, and logic Eric Hovind and Paul Taylor aim to supply Christians with the answers needed when the secular world, classroom, and thinkers question God and His love for Creation.

http://store.creationtoday.org/sale

Eric’s dad, Kent Hovind, has debated hundreds of atheist thinkers, evolutionists, world-renown professors, and scientists including Richard Dawkins and others. Kent is currently serving a prison sentence for tax fraud against the IRS, but his resources and evangelism remain full of Biblical truth and impactful preaching that points humanity to their Creator and the only way to be united with Him again – Jesus Christ!

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1, do you believe it?

For the next few weeks Cry of Worship Ministries will be highlighting some ministries and ministers of all sorts who encourage our relationship with Christ and will provide links in case you want to use them as resources as well. Feel free to leave comments and criticisms and encouragement! – Richie & Kathy

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Jun 17 2013

Satan, Bite the Dust

carmanCarman Domenic Licciardello is an enigma in Christian music, often described as part evangelist, part Vegas Showman. His concerts are more like a rock and roll Billy Graham Crusade than a Christian music event. After all the singing, dancing, clapping and preaching, throngs of people would stream down to the counseling area to accept Christ – many times as many as 5,000 in an evening. Admission was usually free, a simple offering taken, similar to 30,000 churches on Sunday mornings. And he filled the largest stadiums the world over. In fact, Carman holds the record for the largest Christian concert ever in Dallas, Texas. But it even goes beyond that. If you take the Mega Stadium acts that played the famed landmark such as Pink Floyd, U2, Madonna, The Jackson Five, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks and even Metallica, you’ll see that, as the newspapers noted, the one act that drew the highest attendance in Texas Stadium was Carman, with 71,132.

Carman’s interview on the 700 Club discussing his cancer and new music: http://www.cbn.com/tv/2430907521001

(The following written by David Yonke of Huffington Post…)

When Christian music veteran Carman found out on Valentine’s Day that he had terminal cancer, he thought God just might be calling him home because he had nothing more to give.

“I’ve had so many harsh things happen to me over the last 12 years, it was almost a situation that made sense,” he said after he was given three to five years to live and no chance of being cured of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood that affects the bone marrow.

“I thought I could see this coming to a close,” Carman said in an interview. “I wasn’t really doing anything. I’ve had hardly any requests for concerts. I wasn’t recording. I wasn’t productive. The things I needed to do best, I wasn’t doing. I figured my time was up.”

Once one of the biggest names in Christian music who could sell 10 million albums and fill stadiums with his concerts, the man born as Carmelo Domenic Licciardello said he had been rejected by every Christian music label in the last 12 or 13 years and couldn’t even find a record company to distribute one of his CD projects for free.

It was only after he went public about his terminal illness that the 57-year-old singer-songwriter from Trenton, N.J., discovered that he still had an audience.

Carman’s comeback started when he announced on Facebook that he had cancer; the number of “likes” on the page soared from 3,000 in April to more than 159,000 today.

His manager, Sam Chappell, and marketing expert Chris Estes advised him to bypass the recording industry altogether and go directly to the fans to raise the money for a new CD, video and concert tour.

Using the grass-roots fundraising website Kickstarter.com, Carman set a goal of $200,000. If the target wasn’t reached within two months, the project would be scrapped and all donations refunded.

“If God’s in it, I want to know,” Carman said. “I’ve got cancer, I don’t want to play around. If it’s my time to go, let me go in peace.”

His Kickstarter campaign was launched on April 19 and raised $15,000 in the first two hours, $58,000 within two days, and reached his goal in 25 days. So far, more than $306,000 has been donated.

Carman said he knows that after a dozen years away from the big stage, his new material “has to be current; it has to sound like it belongs in 2013.”

At the same time, he said, his fans expect to hear timeless biblical stories and a gospel message in his music.

From 1982 to 1992, Carman’s albums regularly sold more than a million copies each, and he topped the Christian singles charts with songs such as “Satan, Bite the Dust,” “Revival in the Land,” “The Champion,” and “Witches Invitation.”

He was one of the first contemporary Christian artists to incorporate the kind of elaborate — and expensive — lighting, staging and entertainment that fans expected from top-level secular artists.

Legions of screaming teenage fans would call him the “Italian Stallion” as Carman developed a niche for high-drama emotional ballads that featured demons, witches, spiritual warfare and always, a victorious Christ.

65116_593776537314186_1808801928_n“I don’t mean this as a direct comparison,” Estes said, “but he was kind of the Michael Jackson of Christian music in the 1980s. He put on big theatrical productions. But it was not just a concert. He was there to win souls for Christ. In that sense, he was the Billy Graham of contemporary Christian music.”

But after a decade at the top, Carman’s career plummeted. He believes it was because executives in the Christian music industry are biased against some churches and affiliations.

“There’s a lot more prejudice than anyone would anticipate,” said Carman, a charismatic Christian. “I was on a run for doing 10 platinum records in a row. In the secular world, that’s not an artist you give up on.”

He continued to write, including screenplays for TV and film, did some acting, and started a Christian film festival, but going it alone he never got much industry support or media coverage.

Now, like the story in his hit song, “Lazarus Come Forth,” Carman’s career is being revived. Thanks to an outpouring of grass-roots support, he is scheduling a fall tour of churches and smaller venues to test his new material and recast the old favorites.

He said he will use any excess funds from Kickstarter’s CD project to pay for props, wardrobe, and staging and lighting on a major concert tour he is planning for next spring.

“I would go to Vegas shows and Broadway and find a lot of magic acts and see what I can put on stage that will blow people’s minds,” Carman said. “I want to do something they can’t see anywhere else.”

In the meantime, he said he is going through “naturalistic” cancer treatments and feels “pretty good, depending on the day, of course.”

Carman said he is “dumbfounded” and “shocked” by the audience response, but the way he sees it, God just might be telling him that he needs to stick around a little longer.

“If God speaks to the people and the people put up the money, and they say go make music and minister, to me that means I’m going to be alive in a year,” Carman said. “These treatments I’m going through are going to work. Everything’s going to work and I’m going to overcome this thing and reach a new generation.”

Kickstarter.com/carman

For the next few weeks Cry of Worship Ministries will be highlighting some ministries and ministers of all sorts who encourage our relationship with Christ and will provide links in case you want to use them as resources as well. Feel free to leave comments and criticisms and encouragement! – Richie & Kathy

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Jun 15 2013

Persecution.com

pb_headerThe Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. VOM was founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. His wife, Sabina, was imprisoned for three years. In the 1960s, Richard, Sabina, and their son, Mihai, were ransomed out of Romania and came to the United States. Through their travels, the Wurmbrands spread the message of the atrocities that Christians face in restricted nations, while establishing a network of offices dedicated to assisting the persecuted church. The Voice of the Martyrs continues in this mission around the world today through the following main purposes:

Our ministry is based on Hebrews 13:3:

“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

the-voice-of-martyrs-articlesVOM’s Five Main Purposes

  1. To encourage and empower Christians to fulfill the Great Commission in areas of the world where they are persecuted for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. To provide practical relief and spiritual support to the families of Christian martyrs.
  3. To equip persecuted Christians to love and win to Christ those who are opposed to the gospel in their part of the world.
  4. To undertake projects of encouragement, helping believers rebuild their lives and Christian witness in countries where they have formerly suffered oppression.
  5. To promote the fellowship of all believers by informing the world of the faith and courage of persecuted Christians, thereby inspiring believers to a deeper level of commitment to Christ and involvement in His Great Commission.

VOM’s Mission Statement

“Serving the persecuted church through practical and spiritual assistance while leading Christians in the free world into fellowship with them.”

www.persecution.com

For the next few weeks Cry of Worship Ministries will be highlighting some ministries and ministers of all sorts who encourage our relationship with Christ and will provide links in case you want to use them as resources as well. Feel free to leave comments and criticisms and encouragement! – Richie & Kathy

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Permanent link to this article: http://cryofworship.com/persecution-com/

Jun 12 2013

Giving God’s Love to Uganda

IMG_2127www.amazima.org

In December of 2006, 18-year-old Katie Davis from Brentwood, Tennessee, traveled to Uganda for the first time. She was immediately captivated with the people and the culture.

In the summer of 2007, Katie returned to Uganda to teach Kindergarten at an orphanage. As she walked the children home, she was shocked to see the sheer number of school-aged children sitting idly on the side of the road or working in the fields. She learned there were very few government-run public schools in Uganda, and none in the area where she was working. Most schools in Uganda are privately operated and therefore require school fees for attendance, making impoverished children unable to afford an education.

God laid it on Katie’s heart to start a child sponsorship program, matching orphaned and vulnerable children who are unable to afford schooling with sponsors anywhere in the world. A gift of $300 will provide allowance for one child to go to school, providing school supplies, 3 hot meals each day, spiritual discipleship, and medical care. Originally planning to have 40 children in the program, Katie had signed up 150 by January 2008. Today the program sponsors over 600 children.

Shortly thereafter, Katie established a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called Amazima Ministries International. The organization seeks to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the people of Uganda who need it most. In the Lugandan language, Amazima means “truth.” Also, Katie became a mother for the first time in January of 2008 to three orphaned girls.

IMG_5144 2Katie also reached out to the Karimojong people of the Masese community. The poorest of the poor, and losing their children to malnutrition and starvation at an astounding rate, she noticed their desperate need for nutritious food.  She started a feeding program to the community, nourishing over 1,200 children Monday through Friday. This allows the children to attend school and therefore not go to the street to beg. Also provided is medical care, Bible study, and general health training.

As friendships developed with the Karimojong people, Katie wanted to help the women in the village provide for their families. She initiated a self-sustaining vocational program to empower these women to make unique Ugandan magazine bead necklaces. They are also taught money management skills. The necklaces made by the Karimojong women are purchased and sold in the United States.

Now the mother of 13 daughters, Katie offers, “People tell me I am brave. People tell me I am strong. People tell me good job. Well here is the truth of it. I am really not that brave, I am not really that strong, and I am not doing anything spectacular.  I am just doing what God called me to do as a follower of Him. Feed His sheep, do unto the least of His people.” You can find her book “Kisses from Katie” in most retail bookstores and online.

Katie’s Blog: http://www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com/

Christianbook.com/kissesfromkatie

For the next few weeks Cry of Worship Ministries will be highlighting some ministries and ministers of all sorts who encourage our relationship with Christ and will provide links in case you want to use them as resources as well. Feel free to leave comments and criticisms and encouragement! – Richie & Kathy

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://cryofworship.com/giving-gods-love-to-uganda/

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