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Exciting Job Opportunity for Filmmakers

The use of film in the church setting is growing by leaps and bounds. In a media-rich culture like ours, it is easy to see why people gravitate towards this medium. From announcement videos, to mini movies to enhance a sermon, to videos of testimonies, the use of videos in church is on the rise. If only churches would set aside part of their budget to hire a bright, creative, innovative filmmaker who enjoys taking projects from the concept stage all the way through post-production, then the quality of these films would be simply amazing.

Enter Shoreline Church in Austin Texas. Shoreline is a non-denominational church with a weekly attendance of over 5,000 people and they are looking for a filmmaker to join their team. Are you that person? Here’s what Shoreline is looking for:

This full time position is responsible to minister to the body of Shoreline Church, its video campuses and other audiences through electronic media including video/television, radio, and web based media to advance the church’s vision. The position requires producing short-form video and broadcast program material that supports and advances the vision f the ministry. Regular tasks include: meeting with ministry leaders, developing concepts, writing copy, working with production support, directing field shoots, conducting interviews, and editing/post production as needed, as well as filming services for broadcast and for live-stream and web-stream.

If that description gets you excited, then click on the link below to find more details for this position.

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The Myth of a Creative Class

The primary myth of creativity, as I see it, is any voice that makes any person believe that artists are the only truly creative people on the planet. As someone who’s an artist and who speaks to and from the middle of that Tribe, I confess that we can give off a vibe of being the only truly creative people in the room. We can be arrogant like that, but it’s really just insecurity masquerading as eliteness. And that’s because we’re looking for a group to belong to, mostly because we don’t really fit anywhere else.

But biblically speaking, we’re not the only creative people in the room. I promise we’re not. When my Tribe labels themselves “creatives”, it just makes me want to throw up in my mouth, because many of the most creative people I know are not, in any manner, artistic.

GENESIS 1:1-2

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

In the beginning of our world, it all started with a blank dark space. Into that space, God begins to create a bunch of stuff. If you read further in Genesis 1 and 2, you’ll see what the Creator creates. Light and water and sun and moon and vegetation and animals and humans. And it’s all very good.

It’s really good stuff.

But underneath the surface, what’s God really doing at the heart of it all?

I think this. I think there’s a void. The writer calls it a formless and empty space. And God sees the empty space, and then fills it with expressions of Himself.

EXPRESSION #1 – LIGHT

The sun and the moon and the stars. These are all expressions of God’s LIGHT. We’ll read later in Scripture that “God is light, and He clothes Himself in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16). But for now, just know that there’s a category of stuff God created that is all about light.

EXPRESSION #2 – LIFE

If light is the first expression of God’s creation, then life is the second. The water, the vegetation, the animals, the fish, the humans, and even the cats. All are a creative outpouring of God’s LIFE into what was lifeless, and into what would eventually become a world teeming with all kinds of life.

The essence of God is light and life. It’s those two things.

Light.

Life.

And He’s pouring those two things into the creation of our world. He breathes it into existence, and there is nothing random or accidental about it. In one jaw-dropping season of creative activity, He pours it all into an empty space.

The Trinity is giggling.

The angels are smiling and shaking their heads in wonder.

The heavens are singing.

BECAUSE GOD IS TAKING THE ESSENCE OF EVERYTHING HE IS, AND HE’S POURING IT INTO A VOID.

And the results are nothing less than fabulous.

And even though this might seem like a stretch, let’s just ask the question nonetheless.

What if a God who is a Creator invites us to do the very same thing?

WHAT IF GOD INVITES US TO POUR THE ESSENCE OF OURSELVES INTO EVERY EMPTY SPACE?

A God who pours Himself out invites us to pour ourselves out. He invites us to take the essence of who we are, and pour that into the empty spaces that we encounter every day. And that, my friends, is what creativity is all about.

Creativity is never an automatic thing because the essence of creativity always invites us to stamp His imprint into our worlds. The primary myth of creativity declares that some people are just born with creativity, and some aren’t. But when we buy into that thinking and believe that myth, we’re mistaking creating with displaying. But they’re not the same. Not even close.

Creativity takes intention. It’s active, not passive. It takes both dreams and sweat. It’s less about generating the next best creative concept. It’s less about comparing yourself with others who do the same thing as you do, and who – in your mind – do it better. Creativity is all about pouring the essence of who you are into a void.

It’s the essence of YOU. Not the guy who’s been on the staff team longer than you, or the gal who makes everyone in the room laugh, or the mom who’s children obey her every wish with a smile.

They have their own essence, and it’s not your essence. And God will never ever ask you, “Why aren’t you more like ________?” Instead, He’ll always ask you, “Why aren’t you more like you?”

And the voids and empty spaces aren’t trivial or random. They’re not simply opportunities or bullet points in your job description. They are empty spaces that will remain empty unless you pour the imprint of God into them.

  • So if you’re really good with money – then pour that into those of us who are not.
  • If you’re great at administration – at dotting i’s and crossing t’s, then pour that into those of us who just show up and hope everything will be okay.
  • If you’re an encourager, then speak life over everyone you encounter – from your wife and children, to the barista girl at Starbucks, to the kid who can’t make change at the 7-Eleven.
  • If you’re an artist, pour.
  • If you’re a teacher, pour.
  • If you’re a politician, use your authority to pour out, not in.
  • If you’re a welder, or a garbage man, or a stay-at-home mom, or if you serve in the military… pour.

Sometimes I wonder if the imprint of Christ is seen most clearly, motivated by love, when we pour our own uniqueness into the spaces that will remain empty and void unless we fill them with…

Us.

 

This article originally appeared on GaryMo.com. Used with permission.

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39 Essential Mobile Apps for Every Preacher

Every week you work to prepare a home run sermon while juggling the other demands of a pastor, which often keep you on the go. If you struggle to find time to sit down and prepare an entire sermon, this list of mobile sermon prep resources will transform the way you write your sermons. We did the research on a wide range of mobile apps and narrowed them down to the top 39 essential mobile apps for preaching that you can turn to whenever and wherever you are inspired to study, research, and write your sermons. From Bible study apps to lexicons to writing tools, we’ve covered the gamut of preaching and sermon writing apps for both experienced and novice preachers.

 

Bible Apps

Most pastors own more than one Bible. In fact, they probably own many different translations. Therefore, why not use more than one Bible app? In our research, we found that while many Bible apps are similar, they are not created the same. Many have unique features that help them stand out above the rest. That is why we have listed 22 different Bible apps that you should consider adding to your digital library.

 

YouVersionYouVersion
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

Probably one of the best known Bible apps available, this app from Life.Church offers 1000+ Bible translations in English and many other languages so you’re certain to find the right version of the Bible for your sermon study. In addition, the Events feature allows you to share your sermon notes and scripture references so your church can follow along with your sermon on their own mobile devices. There is even an option for them to write and save their own notes so they can refer back to your sermon at a later time.

 

Logos AppLogos: Daily Bible Reading and Study App
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

In addition to reading the Bible, commentaries, dictionaries, and more, the Logos Bible app has free access to Logos 7 Basic, which includes over 20,000 books. This allows you to study with their in-depth tools and prepare your sermon on your phone or tablet. This is definitely a portable library!

 

Olive Tree Bible BundleOlive Tree Bible Bundle
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Platforms: iOS and Android

Our research showed that the Olive Tree Bible Bundle is one of the most comprehensive Bible apps available, with interlinear Bible study options, commentaries, dictionaries, original Greek and Hebrew versions, maps, customizable parallel reading option, among many other study options. Even with a higher price tag than most apps, we recommend this Bible app from Zondervan that could almost replace your hard-copy Bibles, books or and computer for sermon study.

 

The Study Bible AppThe Study Bible App
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

This app from Grace to You features 3 versions of the Bible (ESV, NAS, and KJV). In addition, the Study Bible App is rich in insight with 25,000 detailed comments and sermons from John MacArthur to explain nearly every passage of the Bible and give you a fresh perspective.

 

Bible.is AppBible.is
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

Bible.is app is promoted as “Dramatized Audio Bibles,” which can be helpful for pastors in numerous ways. This app is perfect for auditory learners as you can listen to passages of scriptures in preparation for your sermon when you’re in the car, working out, or simply in your office with your eyes closed.

 

Blue Letter Bible
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

This Bible app has a few features that help it stand out for in-depth scripture study such as a blue lined version of scripture, original language lexicons for Hebrew and Greek, the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, plus a note-taking function that can be organized into notebooks. Create notebooks for each week of the year to store your notes as you study for each sermon.

 

And Bible
Cost: Free
Platforms: Android

With a clever name, the And Bible is only available on Android devices. It’s an offline Bible that is powered by CrossWire Bible Society’s SWORD Project. It includes 40 English language Bibles and bills itself as “one of the fastest Bible apps on Android.” If you’re an Android user, definitely check this out to help with efficient scripture study on the go.

 

Tercarta Bible AppTecarta Bible
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Platforms: iOS and Android

Do you miss the feel, function, and aesthetic of a hard copy Bible when using a digital version? This is the perfect app for you! Our research found the Tecarta Bible app to be the most reflective of a hard copy Bible in the way the words and chapters are designed, how pages turn, and the ability to make margin notes. It comes free with King James Version and has a number of other translations available for in-app purchase. Plus find a wealth of resources with commentaries, study Bibles, and a parallel reading mode.

 

NKJV Study Bible by Thomas NelsonNKJV Study Bible by Thomas Nelson
Cost: $23.99
Platforms: iOS and Android

This Bible is part of the Tecarta network, but it is so special that it deserves its own mention in our list of apps for preaching. It does come with a hefty price tag in terms of mobile apps, but that’s because it provides a study system designed specifically for pastors and biblical scholars. In addition to the NKJV tranlation, it contains 15,000 verse-by-verse study notes, information on biblical culture, articles on key doctrines, word study with Strong’s numbers, a topical index, maps, and the Deluxe Nelson concordance. This single app will allow you to carry an entire sermon study library with you wherever you go!

 

Maxwell Leadership Bible AppMaxwell Leadership Bible
Cost: $23.99
Platforms: iOS and Android

Yet another app from Tecarta, this is unique Bible is geared towards leaders and incorporates John Maxwell’s wealth of leadership principles and teachings as it relates to God’s Word. With all the functions that come with a traditional Tecarta Bible app, this is a great choice for pastors looking to teach about leadership and find principles to encourage their own church leadership team.

 

The Voice Bible AppThe Voice Bible
Cost: $16.99
Platforms: iOS and Android

There is a reason why they say a story is worth a thousand words. Sometimes you may need a version of scripture other than the traditional translations to help you see God’s Word in a new perspective. The Voice Bible app can help! This app recounts scripture through storytelling with the original passion, humor, grit, and beauty that can get lost in technical Bible translation process. It does hold true to original manuscripts, so it may even be a great way version to share with your church during your sermons to paint a picture of scripture references.

 

NKJV Word Study Bible AppNKJV Word Study Bible
Cost: $19.99
Platforms: iOS and Android

Delve deep into the original ancient text with this app that includes Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic words from every chapter of the Bible. With this word study specific version of God’s Word, you’ll be able to focus in on the meaning as it was originally written without the distractions of other study helps.

 

NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study BibleNIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible 
Cost: $19.99
Platforms: iOS and Android

This popular study Bible gives behind-the-scenes details that will teach you about customs and culture of biblical times. Use this app to investigate scripture and craft portions of your sermon to help our church relate to the characters, events, and locations throughout scripture.

 

WORDsearch Bible AppWORDsearch Bible
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

For users of WORDsearch from LifeWay, this app will not only give you access to the Bible with cross-referencing tools, but it also will integrate any WORDsearch books you’ve purchased right in-app. For pastors and teachers that turn to WORDsearch on their desktops, this is a great app to have when you have time to study for your sermons but don’t have access to your laptop.

 

ESV Bible AppESV Bible
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

This app from Crossway comes with the ESV Global Study Bible and includes many of the standard features we found in most Bible apps. It is a standout to us because it is one of the prettiest apps we used. The text feels formal in the way a good book does, and the features and icons are designed with a clean aesthetic that will be easy on your eyes as you study scripture.

 

Glo Bible AppGlo Bible
Cost: Free with optional monthly subscription
Platforms: iOS and Android

If you’re a visual learner, the Glo Bible app is for you. The free version of the app comes with the English Standard Version, but with an upgrade to a monthly subscription, you also get access to tons of media content like virtual tours, photos, works of art, maps, and an interactive documentary on the life of Jesus. This app has so much to offer if you’re looking to step into scripture to find a fresh perspective on biblical times.

 

Inductive Study BibleInductive Bible Study
Cost: Free; Access to interactive lessons with paid subscription
Platforms: iOS and Android

We found this app to be unique because of the in-depth note-taking abilities it offers. Most Bible apps provide basic note-taking functionality, but the Inductive Study Bible takes it to another level. Mark words with images, highlights, or italics much like you would with a hard copy Bible. Also, you can group verses together in themes, which is a helpful resource when studying scripture references for each sermon.

 

Bible Study with Accordance AppBible Study with Accordance
Cost: Free; Additional resources with paid subscription
Platforms: iOS

The Accordance Bible Software offers 100s of powerful study tools to pastors and biblical scholars for doing exegesis, whether on a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. What makes this app interesting for pastors is its cross-device syncing for your own notes and highlights throughout the app, making it easy to use no matter where you are. If you’re an Accordance subscriber, this app is essential for you.

 

Lumina Bible Study appLumina Bible Study
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS

The Lumina Bible Study app comes with the New English Translation presented in a book format without chapter boundaries, which we find helpful to reading scripture more as a narrative rather than individual chapters. Plus, access 60,000+ notes from the translators, Strong’s tagging, and word study with the original languages. It’s a nice way to dig into scripture using a different translation than most Bible apps offer.

 

Parallel+ Bible AppThe Bible.org ParallelBible+
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS  and Android

This app was made with parallel Bible study in mind! The parallel versions scroll together, requiring as little eye movement as possible, and they include a lexicon feature that lets you tap a word to view phonetics, part of speech, and translation tips. Plus, take notes within the app and share them with your church to help them study scripture in preparation for your Sunday sermon.

 

Bible Gateway appBible Gateway
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

Bible Gateway provides something for everyone in their app that is built for Bible reading. It comes with over 90 Bible translations, offline search, parallel translation on iPads, and a feature that allows you to star important verses. In addition, the app has commentaries, dictionaries, and many other Bible study tools to make reading and studying scripture for your sermons on the go a piece of cake.

 

Bible Study Tools appBible Study Tools
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

The Bible Study Tools app is from the largest online library of study Bible versions. In addition to almost any Bible version you could ever need, you’ll find commentaries, dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, concordances, historical facts, and sample sermons. We’re having a hard time thinking of anything else you would need to study for a sermon on the go that isn’t included in this one app!

 

Dictionary & Reference Apps

You may be wondering, after so many Bible apps that include study tools, why do you need a stand alone Bible dictionary, concordance, or reference app. There is a very good reason – most Bible apps include just a few of these resources, so we found a few comprehensive apps for Bible study on the go. Here are a few that topped our list of essential apps.

Strong's Dictionary appStrong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary
Cost: $15.99
Platforms: iOS and Android

This app gives the full Strong’s Dictionary of Greek and Hebrew at your fingertips, where ever you go. At over 2,400 pages, the hard copy of Strong’s dictionary would be a challenge to have in your mobile library. But, this app on your phone or tablet will allow you to search or browse using a Greek or Hebrew table of contents. With the ability to find the meaning of any word in the Bible, we find this little app worth the price tag.

 

Oxford Dictionary of the Bible AppOxford Dictionary of the Bible
Cost: $9.99
Platforms: iOS and Android

In addition to being a reference for definitions of biblical terms, the Oxford Dictionary of the Bible includes numerous other informational resources such as detailed chronology of important dates, historical maps, and conversion tables of measurements. This app will help any Bible scholar gain a modern-day understanding of the language, locations, and figures found in scripture.

 

KJV Bible DictionaryKJV Bible Dictionary
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

Do you preach from the King James Version and occasionally have words that don’t translate to modern English? Every word is important to understanding the full meaning of scripture, and the KJV Bible Dictionary app will help you find the modern meaning of over 6,000 words found in the KJV.

 

Bible Maps PlusBible Maps Plus
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Platforms: iOS and Android

Locations throughout the Bible play a big part in telling the narrative of scripture. The Bible Maps Plus will help you be knowledgeable about the places of biblical times with 86 full-color maps, 13 timelines, and location search so you can teach your church through sermons about the importance of specific locations.

 

Strong's ConcordanceStrong’s Concordance
Cost: $4.99
Platforms: iOS

Do you have a great Bible app but only want to view the KJV with Strong’s Concordance? This app does exactly that, with one Bible translation (KJV) and Strong’s Concordance so you can gain a more technical understanding of scripture. It shows how words are translated in other verses and utilizes English, Greek, and Hebrew dictionaries. Try a sample before buying with a demo of Genesis and Matthew.

 

Lexicon Apps

Word study is diving deep into scripture and is so important to sermon preparation. Getting into the original text sets you up with an understanding of the Bible that will help you communicate the meaning of scripture in a valuable way. Here are a few apps that will help you learn biblical Greek and Hebrew and study them where ever you are.

Basics of Biblical GreekBasics of Biblical Greek
Cost: $19.99
Platforms: iOS

Are you ready to learn biblical Greek? Do you need a refresher from your seminary days? This app presents 1,000 of the most common words in the Greek New Testament, based on vocabulary cards. Feel like you’re going back to school as you learn how to do word study on the New Testament in preparation for your sermons.

 

Interlinear Greek AppInterlinear Greek Bible
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

The Interlinear Greek Bible from ScriptureDirect lets you interact with the Greek text of the New Testament by browsing all the possible meaning of the words. Simply tap any word to view the meaning of it in Greek. This is a great tool for preachers who have not mastered biblical Greek as it does not require the ability to read or pronounce Greek.

 

Scripture Memory Apps

As a pastor, you may wonder why we are calling out scripture memory apps. You probably have committed a number of passages of the Bible to memory already, but there are moments when preaching or teaching when a verse may come to mind and you can’t remember it in full. Or, you may want to preach from memory, so having your scripture references memorized will help you get a head start. Here are a few apps you can use on your phone or tablet.

Verses Bible Memory AppVerses – Bible Memory
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

We like this scripture memory app for its appealing design and memorization methods. The Verses app helps you absorb the words of scripture so you’ll remember them better. Plus, be encouraged as you track your progress over time.

 

Bible Minded AppBible Minded
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

This app has something for everyone, no matter your learning style. With 4 memorization methods, you’ll find something that works for you. It will even help you learn entire chapters by breaking down the text in the manageable sections. We’re fans of this useful app from the American Bible Society.

 

Writing and Research Apps

Studying scripture is only a portion of preparing to preach. Once you’ve studied your sermon topic, it’s time to write and preach. Here are some of the trending apps to help you get to the final product of your sermons.

Day One Journal AppDay One Journal
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS

We’ve seen a ton of recommendations for this app from pastors who say it’s essential to their weekly sermon planning. It’s no wonder with the visually appealing interface that records all kinds of things about each journal entry, such as location, time, date, weather, your activity, and even what music is playing. Whenever you feel inspired or have a quick thought for your upcoming sermons, grab your phone or tablet and write it down in this useful journal app.

 

SimpleMind AppSimpleMind Intuitive Mind Mapping
Cost: Free
Platforms: iOS and Android

Once you’ve studied for your sermon, you have a bunch of thoughts swimming around in your head. SimpleMind lets you take those thoughts and organize them into a cohesive sermon using mind mapping. Its flexible features will help you visualize all the components of your sermon so you can create an outline for a powerful and focused message.

 

BiblearcBiblearc
Cost: Free, but requires software subscription
Platforms: iOS and Android

If you’re not familiar with Biblearc, it is a process for studying scripture using a graphical method. This app is a companion to the desktop Bible study background, which sync with each other, so you can view your notes and Biblearc’s suite of resources on your phone or tablet. This is a must-have app for Biblearc subscribers!

 

Evernote AppEvernote
Cost: Free with optional paid subscription
Platforms: iOS and Android

Evernote is one of the most loved apps by our team because of its usability, flexibility, and syncing capabilities across multiple devices. This note-taking app can be used by so much more than sermon prep (it will keep you organized!), but it is especially helpful as you prepare to preach to organize notes, write your outline, share notes with others for feedback, and craft presentations. Plus, once your outline is complete, export it as a pdf to use on your iPad as you preach so no changes are made accidentally in the middle of your message. After a great Bible app, Evernote should be the next app you download.

 

PenultimatePenultimate
Cost: Free with optional paid subscription
Platforms: iOS

If you like the feel of a pen in your hand when you write but want to keep your notes in a digital format, download Penultimate now. This app from Evernote brings handwriting to a digital form so you can jot notes or outlines on your iPad with a stylus to sync with your Evernote app.

 

Paper AppPaper
Cost: Free with optional paid subscription
Platforms: iOS

Paper brings together notes, photos, and sketches all in one place. In their own words, “Paper is like a wall of sticky notes for everything that inspires you.” Compile all your random thoughts into digital sticky notes and take organization for your sermons up a notch. Plus, the app has sharing capabilities with Keynote and Powerpoint so you can share your notes in a presentation.

 

Apps for Wearables

Most of the apps we’ve covered are for phones and tablets, but we did find a couple of great options if you’re into wearables. While the functionality of apps for wearables, in general, are lighter than their phone and tablet counterparts, there are a few especially useful reasons to download these apps.

Olive Tree Bible AppBible by Olive Tree
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Platforms: Apple Watch

The Bible app from Olive Tree brings some of the basic reading functions from the iPhone and iPad app to Apple Watch. This app is primarily for reading, but in addition, you can also access multiple translations including the English Standard Version with Strong’s Numbers right on your wrist, letting you read and study scripture on the go.

 

YouVersion appYouVersion
Cost: Free
Platforms: Apple Watch

Another Bible app for wearables, YouVersion syncs with your other devices so you can view the scriptures you have highlighted and bookmarked and pick back up on reading and studying where you left off on your phone or tablet.

 

And that’s our full list of mobile apps that will help you read, study, write and preach every week, no matter where you are or when you are inspired. With this many incredible apps to help you, your biggest problem might be freeing up space on your phone and tablet to download them all!

Did we miss an app that is crucial to your sermon preparation? Let us know!

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MORE Back to School Media!

It’s on everyone’s minds. Whether we have children going back to school or not, we all recognize the fall as a time when schools go back in session, children and young adults take on challenging new subjects, and rhythms and routines are formed again. In your services, people will have this on their mind, so why not throw in some media to go along with it? In this post, I want to highlight a countdown from Hyper Pixels Media, a cinemagraph from Journey Box Media, and three mini movies from Creative Media Solutions.

Countdown

Back to School Countdown

This 5-minute Back To School Countdown features a chalkboard design with chalk drawing animations. The fun and contemporary music makes it a great opening for your worship service, youth group, or college Bible Study. Add this Back-To-School Countdown to your church media library today.

Cinemagraph Pack

Back to School Cinemagraph Pack

This cinemagraph pack contains 3 fresh Back to School motions, a countdown, and still backgrounds With your purchase, you will receive versions with and without text. Cinemagraphs bring still images to life, and are an eye-catching way to communicate necessary (but often, boring) information.

Mini Movies

Children of God

This video should be used as an encouragement to Christians going back into the public school system. Inspire the Children of God in your congregation to shine their light and take their school for Jesus.

Back to School with Granny Smith

These animated apples remind us that as parents, we must abide by Proverbs 22:6. It is our responsibility to train up our children—not the public schools’.

Back to School

This video gives a gentle reminder that it is our responsibility to train up our children—not the public schools’, private schools’ or even the local churches’. As parents, we must abide by Proverbs 22:6.

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New Album from Alisa Turner Releases Soon!

Music is a powerful medium for the Lord to move in our lives. He uses music in unique ways in each of us: to restore hope, convict of sin, instill courage, and more. When I listen to an album, the combination of words, melodies, and rhythms all combine to create the overall experience of the album. There is, however, another dimension that takes music to a new level. It’s the personal story of the artist sharing their music. It’s the knowledge that the artist is real that helps give depth to a song or an album. When I say “real,” I mean that they are just like you and me. We share similar joys, sorrows, mountain tops, and valleys in ways that unite us together. The words being sang are not just nice poetical lines strung together to beautiful music. The words come from the person that God is leading through life’s highs and lows, just like us.

Alisa Turner is someone who brings her life and all that God has brought her through to the piano and to the mic. When I listened to her music, I enjoyed it. I loved the lyrics, the melodies, and the emotion. When I read her story, those same songs took on an entirely new meaning in my life. Those songs no longer simply contain nice lyrics and enjoyable melodies. Knowing her story, those songs now contain my heart and my life, as I can now identify with her struggles, longings, joys, and pains. Knowing an artist’s story can take their music to a whole new level. Here is her press release, which shares a bit more about Alisa Turner’s life:

Set for global release from Integrity Music Aug. 25 with the pre-sale beginning Aug. 4, Alisa Turner’s self-titled debut EP captures the lilt and innocence in Turner’s voice and the heartbreaking, but hopeful truth of her story. Produced by Grammy-nominated, Dove Award-winning Michael Farren, Alisa Turner inextricably weaves her very personal story of grief and suffering with hope and redemption through unfettered, unfiltered worship.

For Turner, who has battled the debilitating effects of Lyme Disease since childhood, music has always been her connection point with God. This includes painful seasons after the unexpected death of her worship pastor dad, hospitalizations brought on by the ravages of her disease and losing her infant son only minutes after he was born.

Through it all, Turner returned time and again to the piano, to music. “I think the Lord created me this way, drawn in by the emotion that comes with music,” says Turner. “When I sit down at the piano, He always uses it to draw me back, to awaken the dreamer, and I always leave different than when I came. I leave different knowing He sees me, He is with me. He is my hope.”

That hope shines through each track on her EP, including “My Prayer For You,” the project’s first radio single, which was penned by Farren.

May God give you eyes to see He’s still greater / Courage to rise and believe He’s able

May God be your peace in the fire you’re walking through… This is my prayer for you

“It’s always a bit of a wrestle to merge an individual’s story and voice into melodies and anthems that the Church can sing along with,” says Farren. “And yet, when you finally land in that authentic place, everyone recognizes and engages with the refrain you’ve created. Everyone has their story of brokenness, but when they hear from someone who has shared that pain and yet stands and declares the goodness of God, that’s when true worship is loudest…and I pray that’s what we’ve been able to do in telling Alisa’s story wrapped in these moments of worship.”

Apart from the single, Turner co-wrote all of the tracks for the EP, with each song exploring the depths of what it means to worship among the ashes, comforted by and confident in the presence of God. These faith-building songs of overcoming, including “Lift My Eyes,” “Not Even Now,” “More Than Gonna Make It,” and “As It Is In Heaven,” declare God’s Kingdom, deliverance, glory and unshakable power. The project closes with “Psalm 13,” a modern lamentation, conveying the unique timber and emotion of Turner’s life-story.

“My life and my story are messy… there are days when all I can do is keep lifting up my hands in desperation and in worship,” confesses Turner, who still struggles daily with her health. “I know the hard parts of life well, and I can see and sense when someone else is going through it. The best way I know to lead is by example. So, I just worship. That’s all I know to do.”

Be sure to check out Alisa’s new album by clicking on the link below!

Self-Titled Debut from Alisa Turner

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