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Artist Scoop! ~ Interview with Christian “Heriam” Ross

The Case For Christ:  Songs Inspired By the Original Motion Picture is an album by DREAM Records in connection with the film, The Case For Christ, based on Lee Strobel’s best selling book of the same name.  Both the film and the songs-inspired album released on April 7, 2017.  The album features songs from some of the largest church worship teams in the world such as NewSpring WorshipNew Hope OahuLakewood, Seacoast Worship, G12 and many more. Christian “Heriam” Ross, wrote and sang the song, Your Moment Has Come. Heriam has taken some time to speak to us today. Follow our chat below!


Miranda ~ Hello Heriam! Honored to have you visit TBAP today. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Heriam: Absolutely! I’m from Dallas, Texas, where I live with my wife and two kiddos. Music is obviously my greatest passion, and I’ve been playing some sort of instrument since I was 6 or 7 years old. Both my parents and their dads were musicians so I just wanted to do what they were doing. I picked up a guitar, and now, here I am.

Miranda ~ How did you become a Christian? Please tell us your story.

Heriam: I was raised in a Christian home. My dad, grandad, and uncle are all ministers and would teach my brother and I about Jesus in just about every scenario. I came to Christ at a young age, but definitely had my own struggles working out my faith as I was growing up. I’m happy that I did meet Christ at a young age because, no matter how far I might have tried to go away from Him at any point of my life, I always felt anchored in my heart, solidified to the truth, and ultimately, I’d make my way back, and He’d clean me up again. Now, as an adult, husband, and father, the weight of these responsibilities requires a steady and consistent walk with God, which for me is a blessing. I feel more peace than ever before in what some would call chaos.

Miranda ~ At what point did you decide to use your gift of music to serve God? Is there a story tied to this decision?

Heriam: I started playing in the band at my church’s youth group when I was 12. I don’t remember a moment when I thought, “Okay, now I’m going to do this for God.” I always wanted to use my gifting to bring God glory. Maybe it’s partly because of being taught at an early age that it was right to do so, and that God was also leading my steps through my heart. I can say that in the last few years I’ve felt led to be much more vocal about my faith in every area of my life. I’ve seen a lot of doors opening, and God moving, as I try to be obedient with that.

Miranda ~ What would you say your mission is with music?

Heriam: I am simply a courier of the message of truth pointing to Jesus with songs reflecting my own walk with Christ. My mission is to take that message to as many people as would receive it, and to kindle a flame for a heart after God through song and story.

Miranda ~ In writing the song Your Moment Has Come for The Case for Christ movie, what, about the story inspired the specific lyrics you chose for the song? Is this song personal to you in any way?

Heriam: I was intrigued by Lee’s absolute push back to his wife’s decision to follow Jesus. Then, I watched Leslie work out such a steady faith by believing so faithfully that God was real, and that He loved her and her family, even before they loved Him back. It was then I realized what a call God had put on Leslie’s life, which ultimately led Lee to see a parallel of love between what Christ did and why He did it, to what Leslie was doing and why. Your Moment has Come is written about Leslie’s belief that God would ultimately reveal Himself to Lee and save him, too.

Miranda ~ What is your personal take-away from the story of The Case for Christ—how did it impact you personally?

Heriam: For me, my faith is strengthened knowing that God has a plan for all our lives no matter how far we may think we are from Him. That gives me hope.

This is That (The Fun Questions!)

Coffee, Tea or Mocha? Coffee!

T-shirt or Collar shirt? Collar

Boots or Sneakers? Boots

Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner

TV or Magazine? TV

Rain or Snow? Rain

Gym or Outdoor? Outdoor

Leather Jacket or Blazer? Leather jacket

 

Thank you, Heriam, for stopping by today!

About Heriam


Heríam is the artist name of singer/songwriter Christian Ross based in Dallas, Texas, composing “illuminating soundscapes of song & story” in the rock, pop, and folk genres. The name, Heríam, is coined from “Here I Am” which serves as an elevated reminder to live purposeful in the here and now. The name also references Isaiah 6:8, “Here I am. Send me.” With Heríam’s first single, Your Moment Has Come, releasing on The Case For Christ album (songs inspired by the original motion picture), Heríam also plans on releasing his freshman EP in the months to follow, which will include five titles such as, I Will Wake, Serene, and more. Heríam’s music heralds the message of hope rooted in Jesus Christ. These are songs of the journey we all relate to as we work out our faith day by day.

Emeralds’ Birthday!

Rachelle Rea Cobb is the author of The Sound of Diamonds, The Sound of Silver, and The Sound of Emeralds, the Steadfast Love series books. She has also written Write Well, a guide for writers. Last summer, she married a man with the same first name as the hero of the Steadfast Love series. Rachelle is presently hosting a giveaway that will allow a winner walk away with all three books in the series!

About The Steadfast Love Series


In 16th-century Europe, the Reformation rages between Protestants and Catholics. Gwyneth, half-Dutch, flees from England to Holland to escape the man who murdered her parents. When he follows her there and insists he came to rescue her, will she trust this man called Dirk? When tragedy strikes, will their steadfast love erode?

About The Sound of Emeralds


What once was blazing hatred has turned to lasting love, but could the union of a wild heart with that of a lady ever result in more than heartache?

With the help of an old friend with uncertain loyalties, Dirk inches ever closer to clearing his name. Gwyneth throws her faith into good tidings and the promise of a future as a family. But an old evil comes to call, just as tragedy rips apart a fledgling truce. Enemies from the past and grief for the future threaten to tear asunder what God had brought together…

As the date of Dirk’s trial approaches, his fate and his family hang in the balance. Will he be proven innocent of Gwyneth’s parents’ murders—or separated from her forever? How much pain does it take to erode a love steadfast?

Find Emeralds On:

Amazon paperback | Kindle | B&N | Books a Million | Goodreads

The Giveaway


Enter using a Rafflecopter giveaway form (by following the link) to win signed copies of ALL THREE of Rachelle’s novels. The whole series, signed!

International friends, this giveaway is open to continental U.S. addresses only (sorry!). But do still enter, because one international winner will also be chosen to receive all three e-books.

 

About Rachelle Rea Cobb


Times gone by snatch Rachelle Rea Cobb close, so she reads and writes about years long ago—her passions include the Reformation, Revolutions, and romance. Rachelle wrote the Steadfast Love series during college. Five months after she graduated, she signed a three-book deal with her dream publisher, WhiteFire. She’s a homeschool grad, Oreo addict, and plots her novels while driving around her dream car, a pick-up truck. In June 2016, she married a man with the same name as her fictional hero, and they live happily ever after in Small Town, South. She is also the author of Write Well, a guide for writers, which released on March 4th! Find Rachelle on her website, facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, Amazon Author Page, and Goodreads.

Artist Scoop! ~ Interview with Cindy Cruse Ratcliff

The Case For Christ:  Songs Inspired By the Original Motion Picture is an album by DREAM Records in connection with the film, The Case For Christ, based on Lee Strobel’s best selling book of the same name.  Both the film and the songs-inspired album released on April 7, 2017.  The album features songs from some of the largest church worship teams in the world such as NewSpring WorshipNew Hope OahuLakewood, Seacoast Worship, G12 and many more. Cindy Ratcliff from Lakewood Church, wrote and sang the song, I Believe. Cindy has taken some time to speak to us today. Follow our chat below!


Miranda ~ Hello Cindy! Delighted to have you here on TBAP today. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?

Cindy: A true Texas girl, my family is my main focus, raised in a conservative pastor’s family, traveled the world in music ministry, committed to the local church, worked for Joel Osteen Ministries for 18 years, been a published songwriter since age 9, and, love to cook!

Miranda ~ Describe the first moment you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior. What was the experience like?

Cindy ~ At age 5 after a service where my Dad preached, I knew I needed Jesus. My Dad explained thoroughly what it meant to make Jesus my Savior, then he lead me in the sinner’s prayer, and I gave my heart to the Lord. I’ll never forget it.

Miranda ~ How would you describe your journey as a singer/songwriter? How has your journey drawn you closer to God and made you a better person?

Cindy: My journey has been an ebb and flow journey…when my walk with My Savior has been strong, it’s reflected in my gift. Many times I can say, though, that at my lowest moments, God has spoken to me through a song I’ve written to remind me of His love, care, and commitment.

Miranda ~ What particularly about the story of The Case for Christ inspired you to choose the lyrics you selected for your song, I Believe?

Cindy: I would say the scene where Lee’s standing in front of his “wall” and contemplating the facts that he’s found. The lyrics in the verses are possibly what he might have said to himself, and the choruses are what he then would say to the Lord. Then to me the bridge might be what he would declare to the world.

Miranda ~ In your opinion, what would you say is the difference between the mainstream and Christian music industry? What would you like to see change in the Christian music industry?

Cindy: Obviously the main difference is the content of lyric and the Holy Spirit-breathed life found in Christian music. I’d like to see the industry not be so exclusive.

Miranda ~ What are you most grateful for—generally/right now?

Cindy: My family and our health, and the opportunity to live where we can freely worship our Savior.

Miranda ~ What advice would you give to anyone who believes they’ve been called by God to go into music?

Cindy: Double check to make sure God called you…haha! Then go after it with all of your heart, and keep that heart pure…music tends to make us really transparent. When your heart isn’t pure, what pours out of it, most people can tell it’s toxic.

This is That (The Fun Questions!)

Coffee, Tea or Mocha? Mocha

Boots or Sandals? Boots

Chocolate or Vanilla? Swirl

Vegetables or Fruits? Both

Juice or Smoothie? Smoothie

Music or Books? Music

Gym or Outdoor? Outdoor

Leather Jacket or Blazer? Leather Jacket

 

Thank you, Cindy, for stopping by today!

 

About Cindy Cruse Ratcliff


Cindy Ratcliff’s music career was launched at the early age of 6 when she began touring with her parents and older siblings as the youngest member of “The Cruse Family.” Not long after, she became the youngest licensed ASCAP songwriter at the age of nine, and went on to sign with CBS Records at age 19.

Known to many as America’s Worship Leader, Cindy has served as the Director of music and senior worship leader for Ps. Joel Osteen & Lakewood Church for more than a decade. Through this platform, Cindy shares the unconditional love and hope of Jesus through music with viewers from everywhere. Reaching out to millions across America and around the world, the TV program is the No. 1 Nielsen-rated inspirational program in America.

Cindy’s recorded several live albums with the Lakewood team, as well as, a collaborative Christmas CD with The Houston Symphony. Building on the success of her critically acclaimed solo album “Twenty Three,” she released her sophomore project, “Heaven Raining Down” in the spring of 2014 through her label, RPM Music, co-owned with husband and executive producer Marcus Ratcliff. Working in collaboration with Capitol Records and L.A. based Dream Music Group, “Heaven Raining Down” climbed to #2 on the Billboard Music Charts, the radio single “God Alone” topped at #12 on radio, and the album is gaining popularity around the world.

Cindy’s enjoyed performing in such iconic venues such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Staples Center, Yankee Stadium, O2, and Wembley Arenas. In addition to her US events, she’s also enjoyed recent tours to such nations as the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, The Philippines, and South Africa.

Cindy lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Marcus Ratcliff. Cindy and Marcus have three children: Windsor, Merrick, and Emory, whom they consider to be their greatest treasure.

I Am Thomas

Thomas, the disciple of Jesus, is best known for doubting Jesus’ resurrection and appearance. Not a good thing to be famous for, is it?

But what if there’s so much more to the story? What if there’s a reason behind Thomas doubting Jesus, which will lead you to be more empathetic?

Take a look at this setting: Israel, under the rule and oppression of the Roman Empire, had suffered a great deal, leading many Jews to detest the empire and anyone who swore loyalty to it. Then came Jesus who appeared to be the promised Messiah that would save Israel. Naturally, under these circumstances, it wouldn’t be surprising if people believed that Jesus would free Israel from the Romans, and then establish a new physical kingdom for the Jews. After all, wasn’t this the way that God, in the past, had used judges/prophets to save and restore Israel?

After what was considered a triumphant entry into Jerusalem where Jesus was proclaimed the Son of David, Jesus’ death was a huge blow that dashed many hopes. Can you blame Thomas for hesitating to believe again that this same Jesus was back to possibly finish what they thought He’d started? There’s something about hope not fulfilled, especially when that hope has been hurt time and time again (and the Jews had apparently been hoping for a long time). In the absence of evidence, it becomes difficult to build back up.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

If hope will be resurrected, the person in question usually does so meticulously, with each building piece put together slowly and cautiously, and over a stretch of time, until it eventually gains steadiness and sturdiness—a status not easily achieved. Truth be told, it is much easier to inspire fresh hope than to rebuild one that has been destroyed.

When placed in a similar circumstance, are we any different?

Have you found yourself in a place where you’re sure God made specific promises to you and for a while now you’ve been looking out for the fulfillment of these heart desires? But every time it seems you’re on the right path, your hopes are dashed, and it seems a part of your dream dies each time this happens. Eventually, you get to a place where you don’t want to hear one more word of Scripture that promises fulfillment. You’ve become too weary in heart and in spirit to believe anymore “promises.” You’re sure that if you do so again, and it doesn’t work out, the pain of such a failure will kill you. You begin thinking it is better to lay aside those dreams, assume a faith that allows you to simply accept salvation in Jesus and the possibility of life outside of your dreams. Hope has become too painful for you to hold on to.

Is this you right now?

Then you’re not different from Thomas.

Has God failed to fulfill His promises? No, He hasn’t. What you may not see right now—like Thomas and the Jews—is that the fulfillment of God’s promise to you is so much more than what your desire originally conjured. Believe it or not, God’s promise to you is not just about you. With God, there’s usually a bigger picture; you have a role to play in the grand scheme of God’s masterplan. This was the same with Abraham (who didn’t live to see all of God’s promises fulfilled) and the other greats.

Israel desired freedom, and so wanted a king that would overthrow their human enemy—the Romans. God, instead, sent them a Messiah that brought salvation and victory over their ancient and original enemy, the devil. God magnified Israel’s desire into one that included the rest of the world, and with victory over an enemy more powerful than the Romans, and this victory would last forever. Thomas hadn’t yet realized this, and a lot of times, we react in the same way in similar situations. We presume that the benefits of our heart desires are solely ours, forgetting that we play a role in God’s great plan. Then when we set out on the wrong path to achieve these dreams and they fail, our faith in God gets destroyed. It may be that the path we’re on isn’t the wrong one, but rather, we’ve arrived at a place where it’s time for a change or the path ends in a form that we never imagined, which may present as a tragedy; when we don’t seek God’s wisdom to understand the meaning behind the events, we lose hope in the face of this tragedy. This is what happened to Thomas (and the other disciples).

Whatever of the above category that you belong to, why not seek God’s heart and His way? You may discover that He’d been pointing you in the right direction all along, but you either weren’t paying attention or may have been too much in a hurry to gain a status of success. Perhaps, God wanted you to climb to your place of victory slower so that you can gain the humility, discipline, and wisdom that will preserve you and the blessing that He longs to give you, but your zeal, which ran without God’s direction, led to you failing.

“It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and [then] miss the way. A man’s own folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord” (Proverbs 19:2-3).
“To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s way seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The Lord works out everything for His own ends—even the wicked for a day of disaster…in his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Proverbs 16:1-4,9).

Why not seek God’s face, trust His instruction, and follow in obedience. You will discover a richer and more blessed life, one that is filled with peace, righteousness, and other virtues that honor God!

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather, healed” (Hebrews 12:11-13).
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

About the Editor


Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a copywriter. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category. In 2016, Miranda was honored to be one of 500 book reviewers across the world invited to help launch Tim Tebow’s book, Shaken.

When Miranda isn’t reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, and her journey as an author, you can follow her author website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

The article I Am Thomas first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).

Movie Review ~ Heaven, How I Got Here: A Night With The Thief On The Cross By LightBEA Media

Based on the story of the crucifixion of Jesus found in Luke 23, this poignant account of redemption and grace weaves together the biblical events of the crucifixion and imagines the details of the life of the thief. He recounts the events of that day as he experienced them then, and as he looks back later from the perspective of his new life in heaven. Learn more about this movie on the Christian Cinema page.


Category

Religious/Christian/Easter

Genre

Stage Play/Drama

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


Deeply moving and engaging, and narrated with the simplest of words, A Night With The Thief On The Cross is a poignant display of one thief’s journey from a place of crime and punishment to one of grace and redemption through a gruesome but life-changing encounter with Jesus on the cross. This account of the thief’s journey (performed by Stephen Baldwin on stage) also reveals the thief’s backstory—how he got into a life of crime that led him to the cross. His story puts into perspective the aim of Jesus’ coming and the fact that Jesus remained undeterred in His mission despite the happenings around Him.

A Night With The Thief On The Cross unveils the loving power of God which remains at work in the hearts of men—even in the subtlest of ways. This story answers some questions, clarifying some unknowns in a unique way, and then calls attention to the truth that no person gets saved by anything that they do, but rather, by what Jesus accomplished through the cross.

A truly remarkable retelling of the thief’s story that is well suited for the coming Easter season!

Tis The Season To Love & Forgive

Easter is fast approaching, and as is the custom, many are preparing for fancy celebrations. This is a good thing! However, as we do this, let’s pause to consider something very important. This celebration exists because of the love of Jesus that is not only willing to forgive, but to also reconcile us to God. It is good that we take this lesson and apply it in our personal relationships and with the people that God has allowed in our lives.

Forgiveness is no easy feat, especially when you’ve been deeply hurt by a particular person over and over again. Memories of you being continually good to this person put you in a position where you feel humiliated and taken for granted, and you wonder if you should permanently cut them off. Whether you choose to do so or not, it is imperative to acknowledge that true progress begins with you forgiving so that you can move on in a positive direction. It may seem unfair to extend forgiveness, but it is wise to trust God’s way, bearing in mind that love always wins. In what manner this win or victory will manifest itself may be unclear to you, but it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen. It may not come in a form that you imagined or initially wished for, but God works out all things for the good of those who love Him. Therefore, trust Him.

To love unconditionally isn’t easy, but with God’s wisdom and grace, it is possible. It may seem foolish and unfair, and you may feel that this command leaves you cheated and humiliated. It may be that all you’ve ever been in most relationships is the giver and never the object of affection. You feel drained and tired and you think you have no more left to give. It looks like God has failed you in this way, and you long for once in your life to be the one that is shown love.

Does this describe you?

Remember that you are truly loved by God and seen by Him—He is Jehovah Roi (Genesis 16:13-14). He has your name in the palm of His hand, and He records all your tears (Psalm 56:8). He has a plan for your life that will end in goodness and hope, and not one that will cause you harm (Jeremiah 29:11-14). Continue to trust and obey Him (Proverbs 3:5-6), and your dawn will come (Psalm 37:6-15). Do not change the beautiful person that you are because of the negative people and circumstances that have come your way (Hebrews 10:35-39). Instead, trust God’s way that has proven true (Isaiah 55:8-13).

As Easter approaches, take all of your hurt, brokenness, and confusion and lay it at the feet of Jesus. He alone can change your heart because you can’t do this by yourself. You may not even recognize how/when it will happen. But one day, you’ll wake up and realize that you’re more joyful and more at peace than yesterday. You’ll see that though you’re not perfect, you’re also not the same as you were yesterday. Let this knowledge give you hope that tomorrow, too, you will be better than you are today.

Have a lovely Easter celebration!

About the Editor


Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, a Mogul Global Ambassador, and a copywriter. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category. In 2016, Miranda was honored to be one of 500 book reviewers across the world invited to help launch Tim Tebow’s book, Shaken.

When Miranda isn’t reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, and her journey as an author, you can follow her author website. You can also connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

The article Tis The Season To Love & Forgive first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).

Album Review ~ Tumultu By Mogli The Iceburg

Category

Urban

Genre

Hiphop/Rap

Release Date

April 14, 2017

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Raw. Honest. Bold…but in a manner that is not impolite. In this courageous attempt to preach a message of love, acceptance, and unity by speaking against hatred, racism, and division, Mogli the Iceburg goes ahead to lay out the reality of the world we live in today, raising questions in the lyrics that would cause any listener to pause and consider his words. He does more than give reverence to God—he steps into socio-cultural issues that Christianity can no longer ignore.

Tumultu is a clarion call to God’s children to stand unafraid and embrace the truth of God’s love, encouraging them to stand with those who cannot stand alone or stand for themselves. A few songs step out of the norm—of what seems to be the album’s main theme—adding positive variety to the mix.

The music/rhythm provoke head-nodding without taking the listener’s focus from the message in the lyrics so that it compliments rather than distract, making Tumultu an altogether well-rounded production.