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God’s Promises & Your Heart Desires Vs Your Dreams

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will grant you your heart desires” (Psalm 37:4).

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Careful observation shows that your heart desires are often connected to the talents that are inside of you; that’s because God didn’t just bless you with those talents, but He supplied the heart desires to go along with them. What typically remains to be discovered is the path to take in life, and the direction to follow. Being human, there’s the tendency to pick the obvious sociocultural option that is most popular. For instance, if I love music and I can sing, then God “must” be calling me to be a music artist who will turn superstar someday; if my school’s theater director tells me that I’m a “natural” and excellent in plays, then God “must” be leading me to be a big time actor who will be recognized with accolades across the world someday…and so on.

Fortunately for us, God doesn’t [always] leave us to our “wisdom” when we take these heart desires to Him “in prayer” and back it up with the Scripture that seemingly agrees with what we want, and therefore make the mistake that our assumption is approved of God.

Talent + Dreams don’t equal instruction from God, even though both may play hugely in our destiny. No human being ever knows fully what God has in store for them, nor do they know for how long certain dreams may last if they do come true. To assume full knowledge of our future because we think God must surely agree with our plans only leads to heartbreak and disappointment that may destroy any trust that we have in God, and may never be regained.

Firstly, it is important that we understand that when we submit our will to God and choose His own for our lives, it is possible to see the once blurred line that separates dreams from desires. Through growing knowledge of God’s will, we come to see that though the two—dreams and desires—are quite similar, they are not always the same, and in choosing God’s will, talent + desire, with direction from God, may translate into a new dream/vision birthed by the Holy Spirit, which may be entirely different from the one that we initially had; this new dream or vision will lead to a place of deep satisfaction, absolute fulfillment, and eternal contentment. It’s like this: the fact that I can sing doesn’t mean that God is calling me to be a superstar artist; He might be calling me to be a light in a local church in a small town, where my worship of God through vocal praise will give people hope so that their souls will be saved. The fact that I might be an amazing athlete doesn’t mean I’m called be a celebrity that will break records and play in the nationals (or internationals); He might be calling me to use this gift to lead the teenagers in a local league who may someday have huge platforms that they will use to affect the world positively for God’s kingdom. The fact that I may be a great cook doesn’t mean that I’m called to be a celebrity chef with a popular TV show, a famous blog, or monthly bestselling recipe magazine that will rake in the cash with each released edition. I might, instead, be called to be a homemaker who will raise children who will someday minister and teach the world about community and God’s love in ways that I may never imagine…and so on. In each of these scenarios, the desire to serve God in a particular way remains clear and intact. What changes is the dream/vision through which that desire is actualized. So, dream and desire are not always the same. The desire to sing may remain, but the dream to become a famous artist may change; the desire to use athleticism to serve God remains, but the vision of becoming a record-breaking athlete may change; the desire to cook/serve may still be there, but the dream of becoming a celebrity chef may fade away, etc. God who gives the talent and desire will also provide the means through which it will best manifest to serve His purposes. And it’s because of these purposes that when we observe closely, we often find that the different desires that we carry and thought were too odd to be combined and fulfilled in one lifetime, through God’s infinite and manifold wisdom, He is able to tie them all together in our life and pace out their manifestation in a way that we never imagined possible, supplying us with the wisdom and capability to do it all; what He doesn’t deem necessary, He gives us the peace to let go, as He did with King David who wanted to build God’s temple, but instead peaceably gave it up and provided the resources for his son, King Solomon, to fulfill the dream. So we see that God does keep His promises to us and fulfills our heart desires, but not often in the manner that we “dreamed” that He would.

To the one who desired to sing, you may sing. But probably not in the way that you thought you would. You might be called to turn Bible stories/verses into sing-alongs for your two children at home. To the one who thought you would write great bestseller stories that will be turned into books/movies for millions of people to read/view, you might find your calling in telling children’s stories in your Sunday school class or at the orphanage where you volunteer at weekends, changing the lives of these littles for God. To the one who thought you might be a celebrity writer/editor at a famous magazine, you may find fulfillment in being a simple blogger with just twenty weekly views, but will nonetheless impact lives and effect positive change. To the one who thought you would be a famous director in the movie industry, perhaps you will organize the plays that will change people/children’s lives forever at your local church or at the school where you teach.

What then is the lesson?

Never assume you have full knowledge of your future looking through the lens of your “dreams” and talents, because these dreams may change tomorrow depending on the path God leads you on. Only God knows the entirety of our lives start to finish, because He alone wrote our story before we were born (see Psalm 139:16; Jeremiah 1:5a). You are not that image that you project of yourself in your mind outside of God’s Word and instruction, nor should you subject yourself to the world’s idea of fulfillment and destiny. You are first of all, a child of God—God’s workmanship prepared beforehand in Jesus Christ to do good works that God has prepared you to do. Everything you do and all that you will become within the will of God is drawn from that center. You are who God says you are—God’s child sent by Him to do good works—and not particularly in the time that we propose, but rather in the fullness of time—God’s time! We may want a particular desire to manifest when we’re twenty, but God may deem it fit to be when we’re sixty, releasing portions of our work in the exact measure that we can handle, making our journey rich with new things so that our best days are always ahead of us.

You may be a leader or not, a celebrity or not, etc.—because not all of us are called to be those things. What will always remain intact as we continue to follow God’s will, is our status as His children. And until we make peace with the truth that our identity is found ONLY in Him, we will never be able to be the person that God has called us to be.

 

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. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.

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, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on TwitterFacebookPinterest, and Google+.

The article, God’s Promises & Your Heart Desires Vs Your Dreams, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).

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Album Review ~ Worthy Of It All By Jeremy Gibson

Category

Religious/Christian

Genre

Contemporary Praise/Worship

Release Date

May 4, 2018.

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Worthy Of It All breathes gentle power—the very nature of our loving Father! So there couldn’t be a more befitting way to worship God, especially when the atmosphere is filled with such humility that it inspires surrender in the heart of a listener. This is Jeremey Gibson’s unique way of worshipping God.

There’s a steady confidence that flows and soaks into the soul of a surrendered listener, so that the true power of worship is displayed in the abounding joy that overflows in the midst of worship.

It’s interesting to note how the conventional contemporary worship style does well in reminding the old believer of the good old days, while remaining thankful for the newness of the present.
The Worthy Of It All album, though titled after one of the tracks, is everything that the name evokes. God is good, faithful, mighty, and worthy of all our praise!

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My appreciation to Lance Brown, GM, DREAM Label Group, for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

 

About Jeremy Gibson


Jeremy Gibson is a Worship Pastor, Singer-Songwriter, and Multi-Instrumentalists based out of Easton, PA. He is passionate about worshipping Christ with his whole life and discipling others to do so as well.  He writes mostly at the worn piano in his cozy town home to the sounds of his two little boys and wife playing about the house.

Jeremy has written and self-produced five albums, establishing a style that is both nostalgic and refreshingly progressive. He has been heavily influenced by not only the music, but the life of Rich Mullins. Through his music, Jeremy, like Mullins, offers an authentic view into the raw, broken areas of his heart in which a desperate desire for Christ is palpable. While his lyrical style ranges from winsome story telling to direct exegesis of scripture, his central aim is to represent Christ well.  Many of his songs are written for the purpose of corporate worship with the goal of edifying the church body and discipling church members to adopt a lifestyle of worshipping Christ.

For Jeremy, leading corporate worship is a normal part of life.  At the age of thirteen he began leading worship for various events in addition to leading weekly youth group services. He took his first official worship-leading position at eighteen and has continued in this calling to this day.  Equipping future generations to lead in Biblical worship is a firm conviction for Jeremy; he is currently investing in two interns through his current position.

 

 

Scoop ~ Interview With My Daddy Is In Heaven Main Cast, Jenn Gotzon Chandler

Jenn Gotzon Chandler is a friend and a sweet and talented person! A top actress and main cast in a lot of award-winning and notable Christian/inspirational movies, Jenn has gone on to become a producer alongside her husband, Jim E. Chandler. The two, a lovely pair and dynamic duo, through Jenn’s new company, are producing a movie, The Farmer And The Belle, which respected critics predict will be a hit and a Christmas Classic! Though this isn’t Jenn’s first visit on TBAP, we recently caught up, and Jenn has let me in on what she’s been up to lately, especially on her role in the new movie, My Daddy Is In Heaven, where she plays the main cast as Rebecca Crownover. Take a look!


Miranda ~ Hello Jenn! It’s super awesome to have you back on TBAP! What have you been up to lately?

Jenn: Thanks Miranda! Adore you to pieces. What have I been up to??? Learning how to be a better wife for my hubby, lol, I’m making a new salmon recipe in between chatting with you over this interview about My Daddy Is In Heaven. PS. Never made salmon before, so hope it turns out good.

Miranda ~ You’re presently working on The Farmer and the Belle, a movie you’re producing with your husband, Jim Chandler. What moment, in particular, led you two to create a story inspired by your own love story, and, how did you come about the bold step to include your actual wedding in the movie’s end?

Jenn: On Saint Patty’s Day, 3-17-2018, we will be celebrating our one year anniversary of being married and going strong in developing this family movie franchise, to hopefully find a home on a television network like Hallmark. The story was birthed during a fast while I was praying for Jim and our engagement, and it grew into the support from many talents, including you as a contributing writer. So while we were filming My Daddy Is In Heaven, we were inspired to film our actual wedding kiss. Two months later on March 17, 2017, we did just that, thanks to the help of our movie crew. Our sparkly moment will appear in the end credits of family, Christmas comedy movie, The Farmer and The Belle: Saving Santaland.

Miranda ~ What would you say is the great take-away for viewers of The Farmer and the Belle?

Jenn: Following the hilarious adventures of a paranoid supermodel and the farmer in the dell, we hope to entertain audiences with wholesome family values, opening hearts to receive the pearls of wisdom that are crafted throughout the story—that is, your value, worth, and identity are not based on your appearance, beauty or fame, but on the real love of God for you. We hope to create new family traditions for Thanksgiving and Christmas by pointing people toward finding real love through the miracle of the Nativity. Right now, Books, Gratitude Game, MOJO Bracelet, and Real Love Onesies are in the prototype phase. We are seeking partners who are inspired and passionate to come along with us. Anyone interested can email us at christmascomedymovie@gmail.com.

Miranda ~ My Daddy Is In Heaven is a wonderful movie that has brought much comfort and hope to people, both children and adults alike. What, in particular about this story, drew you to it and inspired you to accept the character role of Rebecca Crownover?

Jenn: Let’s take a celebration moment for all who helped make/distribute the movie, My Daddy Is In Heaven… woot, woot!!! The team for distribution, Nasser Group/Cinedigm, our director, Waymon Boone, executive producers, Rebecca Crownover, Jack Nasser, Jacob Nasser, and Joseph Nasser. My Daddy Is In Heaven was produced by Durey Shevar, written by Waymon Boone, Joseph Nasser, and Noelle Nelson, and a thank you to the marketing company, Lovell-Fairchild; Catherine Binkley from Lovell-Fairchild has been working hands on with us and has done an A+ job.

Back to the question! This role really caught my eye, because, I found this niche in my acting career portraying real life people and sharing their redemptive stories, and bringing it to the big screen. Rebecca Crownover is a precious and courageous woman. I have fallen into deep adoration of how brave she is. What a gift! It was also magical to be on-screen with my husband, Jim E. Chandler. He plays the new love interest at the end of the movie. The eyes sparkle!

This powerful movie, a true story, is based on Rebecca Crownover (read Rebecca Crownover’s TBAP interview here), and is inspired by her award winning children’s book, My Daddy Is In Heaven With Jesus. It is an entertaining movie that provides a gateway for conversation to discuss grief and faith when we lose someone we love. There is so much comedy that keeps the movie entertaining. It’s a good watch.

Miranda ~ What would you say is the great take-away for viewers of My Daddy Is In Heaven movie?

Jenn: I think it’s said best through this powerful line written by the screenwriters, “You are on a journey. You’re gonna hurt a lot. You’re gonna learn a lot. But at the end of it, you’re gonna feel like a bottle of rain on a summer morning.” Jill Morrison plays June in the movie and performs this brilliantly. Goooo see it! It is everywhere. In Walmart, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, VUDU and On Demand via your cable provider.

Miranda ~ How did you prepare yourself for the role of Rebecca in this story? Did you do anything exceptional to train or harness any skills for this role?

Jenn: Connecting with the real life pain that Rebecca experienced was the motivating impulse that God used to move through the human condition, under the directing of Waymon. I truly felt a soul bond with Rebecca and wanted to honor her truth, her heart, and her soul on-screen, and at the same time engage and entertain the audience, while pointing them towards real life hope.

Miranda ~ As a professional, how do you, and, how would you advice others—especially those married like yourself—on how to handle romantic scenes in Christian or Christian-inspired films while on set?

Jenn: Boundaries. You and your loved one must identify what your boundaries are together as storytellers. When romance is required, Jim and I intentionally call, facetime or have the other on set to connect with each other and pray together. We know God has called us as storytellers and we seek after roles we can play together as love interests in the movies. We have a few coming out including the movie, Saving Faith, distributed by Lionsgate with appearances by Amy Grant, Vince Gil and Michael W. Smith.

Miranda ~ As it goes with screen/media reshaping culture and changing the world, what do you believe this story can do in the world today?

Jenn: My Daddy Is In Heaven can provide a gateway to church groups, to families, and to those searching for something to watch on Amazon (or other outlets) about “where do you go when you die?” This is an amazing story to help discuss real life pain, the bad choices that we make when we are hurting, and also, real life hope. We truly look forward to people’s lives being impacted by this dramatic and hilarious movie written and produced for family.

Miranda ~ How would you describe your personal ministry/calling? Yes, you are an actress. But what purpose do you believe this role in life fulfills for the Kingdom of Jesus?

Jenn: My calling, alongside my husband Jim, is to reach audiences worldwide through the characters we portray, exploring the depths of the human condition. Our goal is to point the viewer towards good entertainment, revelation, and hope that inspires and impacts audiences worldwide, and done with good storytelling through movies.

Miranda ~ Considering your journey so far in the Christian Film industry, how has your perspective changed? What difference would you like to see in the industry? What are you most grateful for—right now, in your ministry, and generally?

Jenn: The Faith-based market is growing. Art is becoming stronger through the cinematic lens, while the storylines are consistently developing. There is a need for wholesome, healthy entertainment. Stations like Hallmark have good-hearted movies that uplift the soul, just like Parables TV and Upliftv Network—so many options to watch wholesome stories that inspire.

Miranda ~ What advice would you offer a young woman who believes that she’s been called by God to become an actress?

Jenn: That is awesome. Pray and ask God to lead you to the right and proper education so you can study and learn the craft. There are many schools that are really wonderful like Joanne Baron / DW Brown Studios in Los Angeles and The New York Conservatory in NYC.

THIS or THAT (The Fun Qs!)

Coffee, Tea or Mocha? Coffee (Carmel Macchiato to be exact, with whip cream. Yum!)

Dresses or Pants? Dresses

Boots or Heels? Boots

Gym or Outdoor? Outdoor

Summer or Winter? Both!

Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner

Cooking or Cleaning? Cooking

Books or Music? Music

Juice or Smoothie? Juice

Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla

Fruit or Salad? Fruit

Scarf or Gloves? Scarf

Blazer or Leather Jacket? Leather Jacket

Thank you, Jenn, for visiting TBAP once again! Love you to pieces!!!!

 

About Jenn Gotzon Chandler


Jenn Gotzon Chandler is an actress and producer who has starred in over 15 inspirational and faith-based feature films including mystery-drama, Doonby, where she starred opposite John Schneider, Ernie Hudson, and Robert Davi, and also Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon, a 2009 Academy Award-nominated film where she played U. S. President Richard Nixon’s daughter, Tricia Nixon, for which she gained her career break. She also starred in Alone Yet Not Alone, a 2014 Oscar-nominated inspirational feature film, and, inspirational drama, I Am Gabriel, and also, the first silent evangelical feature film, The Good Book; drama film, Out of Ashes (Alan Powell), Dante’s Hell Documented, where she portrayed the heroine, Beatrice, alongside Dante, the character portrayed by Eric Roberts. Recently, she starred in the highly acclaimed My Daddy Is In Heaven, based on the true-life story of National bestselling author, Rebecca Crownover, of which she was the main cast portraying Rebecca. Jenn is currently working on a project by her company alongside her husband, Jim E. Chandler, titled The Farmer And The Belle, to be released Thanksgiving 2018. Jenn was also featured in the 2014 award-winning music video, Walls by artist, Sean Guerrero, produced by Lamon Records.

Learn more about Jenn on her website and connect with her on facebook and other social media via @JennGOTZON.

Album Review ~ Cliff & Antoinette Murray

Category

Religious/Christian

Genre

Urban Praise

Release Date

April 20, 2018.

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


There’s a quintessential loveliness to the manner in which Cliff and Antoinette express their music, such that simple but deep melody marries the beautiful complexity of rich singing. As they aim to do one thing—bring down to earth the glory of God—their passionate voices ring to heights that are clear, true, and inspiring, accompanied by an organic ambiance from the sweet native sounds of the piano and semi-acoustics.

This album—self-titled as Cliff & Antoinette Murray—is a classy combination of the ever dependable contemporary, the enchanting impressiveness of classic music, with a lovely twist of semi-Acapella tucked in all the right places, and in such a way that celebrates and showcases the striking progressive nature and journey of music from the past to present. This is what music is all about! And the Murrays—a dynamic duo—don’t hold back from start to finish, so that the soft smoothness with which Antoinette opens the album is rightly matched with a powerful close that would leave any listener breathless with a heart full of gratitude to God—both for faith and for good music!

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My appreciation to Lance Brown, GM, DREAM Label Group, for a copy of this album in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you!

About The Murrays


Cliff and Antoinette Murray currently reside with their kids in San Diego, CA. Cliff is a military musician and Antoinette is a singer, song-writer, director, and private music instructor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from California Baptist University. Having both been raised in music ministry from a young age, Cliff and Antoinette have continued in that calling together leading worship in churches from Southern California to the Northwest, to the island of Oahu.

In 2017, while serving with Frontlines worship ministry at New Hope Oahu, they experienced breakthrough and healing in their hearts and marriage by the power of the Holy Spirit that continues to transform and realign their faith, marriage, and vision for the future.

With the help of producer and co-writer, Scotty Mearig, and the team at Dream Worship, Cliff and Antoinette are excited to release their debut album, a testimony of God’s grace and power in their lives. The desire of their hearts is to see these songs of praise, victory, hope, and forgiveness, facilitate life-changing connection with the Living God.

Article ~ Your Best Days Are Ahead Of You

Some of the most difficult and confusing days to live as individuals are the ones where we believe that we’ve finished living out our purpose; that the best we have to offer has already been given, or that we haven’t even been allowed the chance to do so, but our lives have already been cut short. Typically, people who fit into this category include: those living with a terminal illness, those who’ve had their dreams or desired career prematurely cut short through a painful and catastrophic event, the old and retired…the list could go on. In this new place, you may feel useless and wander into a state of despair and depression, even pondering on why God has kept you alive past the days where you “mattered” to the world.

Let me say this: whether you believe it or not, your best days are ahead of you if you let God lead you on this new path. There’s a season for everything under the sun. There’s a season for your glory days and to build, and there’s a season to step back, step down, and leave in the faithful hands of God all the work that you’ve accomplished so far, whether great or seemingly small. Perhaps, one of the gifts that God wants to give you is the rare privilege of watching from a distance what you’ve planted take root and grow to a height greater than what you imagined possible. You get to watch from a unique perspective the miracle that God birthed through you effect positive change in the world and bless others, and also offer wisdom to as many who need it! You get to watch your miracle (could be your children, business, invention/innovation, foundation etc.) bring forth other miracles and other good things that will inspire love, hope and faith in God’s Kingdom and beyond. This is a glimpse that not everyone enjoys on this side of heaven, but you’ve been chosen to.

This is also the time to be still before God. Now that the noisy days are over (or paused for a time), God wants to grow you and invite you into a deeper relationship with Him in the quiet days to come. It is interesting to witness in the midst of quiet the power of God’s love and grace work in us to degrees we never thought possible. While you may feel powerless because your new circumstance limits you in many ways and offers you little to no options, in this new place, you are set free to a greater dimension where you will learn to hear God more clearly, trust Him more deeply, and become more attuned to His Spirit as you make the intentional decision to draw closer to Him. The worst thing you can do is to ruin this period of quiet with impatience, while wishing to become actively “important” again. You’ve been invited to serve God behind closed doors and more humbly than you’re used to, and while it may be mostly silent and in secret (because it could be as simple as a praying/meditative life), it is just as powerful as any other kind of service.

Remember, also, that God’s ultimate aim on this side of heaven is to work on His children until we resemble Jesus wholly, a work He finishes when He finally brings us home; some of the greatest works that God accomplishes in us is done in the period of quiet, where He builds our character and confidence in Him and in Him alone. You are first of all, a child of God—that is your identity. Everything that you do and all that you become on earth within His will is drawn from that center. Your purpose, which helps build the kingdom of God and mature the Church, the body of Christ, essentially leads each and every one of His children to become more like Jesus. This includes your glory days as well as your quiet ones; so stepping down from the former into the latter still leaves you within the frame of God’s plan. It’s not about us. It’s about Jesus.

In this moment of stillness, allow God build your character and teach you humility, meekness, and honor to degrees that you never believed possible, so that you can enjoy a rare sweetness of relationship with God and go to higher places with Him: taste depths of understanding so deep that they will teach you to pray and commune with God in ways that will not only enrich your soul, but will bless others too; receive revelations of God so beautiful to behold that will make you long for the day you will meet Him face to face as you realize the nothingness of this world. This, in truth, is the reason for being—to know and love your God, and serve Him wholeheartedly and absolutely without distraction. In this moment of quiet, accept new found hope, peace, joy, comfort, and a deeper faith in your God. To be granted temporary quiet before we meet Him face to face truly speaks of days that produce the best in us! All you have to do is let go of the past and open your heart to what God has in store for you in the present, and then, you will indeed see that your best days are truly ahead of you. God bless!

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.

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, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on TwitterFacebookPinterest, and Google+.

The article, Your Best Days Are Ahead Of You, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).

Album Review ~ God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness – Songs Inspired By And In The Original Motion Picture By Pureflix

About The Album


God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness – Songs From And Inspired By the Motion Picture features 10 pop and worship tracks from the DREAM Records and DREAM Worship roster of artists. Made exclusively for the third installment of the hit film, God’s Not Dead, the film titled, God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness, will be opening in theaters nationwide on March 30th. Featuring a star-studded cast, including David A.R. White, John Corbett, Ted McGinley, Shane Harper, Jennifer Taylor, Benjamin Onyango, with special appearances by Dr. Cissy Houston and Tatum O’Neal. Also releasing on March 30th, the album features Matthew Parker, We Are Leo, Landry Cantrell, Joel Vaughn, The Rock Music, Abigail Duhon, New Hope Oahu, Mass Anthem, and Long Hollow WAVE.

Category

Religious/Christian

Genre

Rock/Pop/Urban

Release Date

March 30, 2018.

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Songs in and inspired by God’s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness album opens with Joel Vaughn’s Alive In Us, setting a tone of hope that reminds the believer of God’s eternal being and His all-powerful Name that reigns forever, and because of this, His light will cause us to be unafraid because He is alive in us, and so we can go on to do great and magnificent things by His grace. The next track adds a wonderful layer to the hope inspired by Vaughn’s track—Mass Anthem’s Nothing To Lose, breathing faith and courage into the heart of a listener, which is further boosted by Abigail Duhon’s Rebound. This culture of faith, hope, and love is carried throughout the album by the various artists—Landry Cantrell (Collide), We Are Leo feat. David Josiah (Light Up My World), The Rock Music (Burn For You), Matthew Parker (Miracles &  Till The End Of Time), Long Hollow Wave (Light The Sky), New Hope Oahu (Yours Forever)—and is perfectly rounded-off by a contagious attitude of thanksgiving and praise—even where storms and trials may abide. Indeed, the very lyrics of these songs combined display a banner that mirrors the timeless truth that God’s Not Dead—no, He isn’t!—and by His power and Spirit, He remains our Light In Darkness in this world.

 

Track Listing

  1. Joel Vaughn – Alive In Us
  2. Mass Anthem – Nothing To Lose
  3. Abigail Duhon – Rebound
  4. Matthew Parker – Miracles
  5. Long Hollow WAVE – Light The Sky
  6. We Are Leo – Light Up My World
  7. Landry Cantrell – Collide
  8. Matthew Parker – Till The End Of Time
  9. New Hope Oahu – Yours Forever
  10. The Rock Music – Burn For You

About DREAM Label Group


DREAM was founded in 2008 to provide artists with a genuine approach to how real artist development should be done. By allowing for a partnership as a business model, DREAM’s artists empower themselves to develop and carry out a real vision for their lives as they affect other people’s lives with their music and message. Incorporating social media, press, radio and touring, this allows the artists to grow together as a family.

About Pureflix


Alysoun Wolfe and Jim Ameduri, Pure Flix is the leading independent faith and family studio in the world. Its recent releases include: God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness, SamsonThe Case for Christ, God’s Not Dead 2, God’s Not Dead, Do You Believe?, Woodlawn,  A Question of Faith, and Same Kind of Different as Me. With offices in Los Angeles and Scottsdale, Pure Flix has produced, acquired, marketed and distributed over 100 faith and family-friendly films. Aligned with their vision to influence the global culture for Christ through media, Pure Flix is the industry leader in creating high-quality inspirational feature film content. The studio’s official website is Pureflixstudio.com.  The company also features a leading streaming video on demand service, with thousands of movies, originals, TV shows and more emphasizing faith, family and fun. For more information, go to Pureflix.com.

Entertainment Scoop ~ Interview with Lead Singer, Chad Sowards, of Mass Anthem Music Band

Mass Anthem recently signed with DREAM Label, and has an album out, Through People Like Us. Speaking with lead singer, Chad Sowards, on behalf of the group, Chad tells us a bit about the band’s experience so far in the music industry, and how the group has maintained its zeal to do what God has called them to do. Also shedding light on some of his personal principles, Chad presents some inspiring words that not only sets the band apart, but would also set any heart ablaze!


Miranda ~ Hello! Glad to have you visit TBAP today. Could you please tell us a bit about Mass Anthem?

Chad: Happy to be here! Our purpose as a band is to speak life over and into people. The best way we know how to do that is through music. We love touring, experiencing new cities, and meeting new people. We always set out to create music that will inspire people and encourage them on their walks with the Lord.

Miranda ~ What led to the choosing of the name, “Mass Anthem,” for your group?

Chad: Romans 15:5-6 says, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

We want to eliminate the separation between the stage and the audience when we perform. We want the anthems that we sing together to be with one mind and one voice. In short, the definition of our band is, “the masses of people gathering together to lift up their anthems to the Lord.”

Miranda ~ How did the three of you come together to form the band?

Chad: We formed at Judson University in 2014. Tyler and I are brothers and we’ve known Joey throughout our years in college. We recorded our first album on campus, and then started playing at camps and high schools. The more time we spent on the road meeting new people, the more our passion for this ministry grew. Now we have graduated from Judson and relocated to Nashville, TN, to continue pursuing this dream.

Miranda ~ What events led to you meeting the executives of DREAM Label and, what has been your experience so far in the industry?

Chad: We came to a point in our career where we prayed that the Lord would provide a team that was passionate about our mission and wanted to support us and work with us. Less than a week later, we got a call from Lance at DREAM. He told us he had been following our music and journey for a few months and wanted to partner with us as we continue to make albums and travel on the road. Our experience with them has been amazing and we’re so excited to be pushing our first single to radio in a few weeks!

Miranda ~ What inspires your particular blend of music and, who are the people/artists who’ve influenced you greatly? Why them in particular?

Chad: Musically, our inspirations come from all over! Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, The 1975, and Grey. However, the main artists that have influenced us are For King and Country, Tenth Avenue North, Jordan Feliz, MercyMe, and Citizen Way.

The secular artists above inspire us because they are always stretching the boundaries of music. They are always producing music that is creative, fresh, and catchy. Our goal is to create the same fresh and creative music, but one that also changes people from the inside out because of the gospel’s message.

Miranda ~ What is your underlying principle in songwriting and, how do you know a song is ready?

Chad: My principle is to always write from what I know. When I try to write a song outside of my box of experiences, it’s usually because I’m trying to please people or I’m trying to write a big song for the wrong reasons. When I write within my experience and personal story, God shapes me during the writing process. He works on my heart first, before He uses the song for other people.

Sometimes a song never feels ready, and sometimes it feels ready after twenty minutes of writing it. What I do know is, a song is never finished when the first session is done. It’s crucial to go back to the song a week, a month, or three months later and revise and rewrite parts that can be better.

Miranda ~ Who would you say Mass Anthem has been called to sing to—the broken-hearted, lost, prejudiced etc.? What do you believe you bring to the music scene that is missing today?

Chad: We believe we are being called to sing to today’s youth. We want to be relevant with, not only our music style, but the way we convey biblical truths. We want to bring a sense of realness to the Christian music industry by writing songs about what God did for us in our own lives. We want to write songs with a purpose, rather than a song with a bunch of Christian cliché sayings that sound good when people sing them.

Miranda ~ Would you say that your experience in the industry so far matches what you imagined it would be? What would you like to see change in the Christian music industry?

Chad: We have a lot of connections in the industry and knew a lot of what to expect going into starting the band. Our sister and brother-in-law were both signed to Christian labels at one point, and we have many good friends still in the industry. We feel so blessed to have so many people who have experience in the music industry that we can learn from. If there’s one thing we would change, it would be radio play. We would love to hear Christian radio stations playing fresh, new music, and new artists on a regular basis.

Miranda ~ What are you most grateful for, individually and as a group?

Chad: I’m thankful for community. I’m thankful for people who love us, support us, and continually encourage us.

We are most grateful for how God is providing for us every step of the way. He has come through in our time of need and even when we feel that we do not need anything. He is constantly opening up doors for us to share our message with the masses of people. We are also grateful for each other as a team. We mesh really well on and off the stage, and that means the world to a band.

Miranda ~ What advice would you offer to a band who believes that they’ve been called to go into professional singing, especially, into the Christian industry?

Chad: It’s not always the most talented person that makes it in the industry. It’s the person who works the hardest and gets up every day and strives to be the best artist they can be. A lot of times, it also takes a leap of faith. Any opportunity to better yourself in your craft goes a long way. Playing a show for 5 people prepares you for playing for 5000 people. Work hard. Get people in your corner that believe in you. Take a chance.

This is That (The Fun Qs!)

Coffee, Tea or Mocha? Coffee all the way!

TV or Magazine? TV. We are professional Netflix binge watchers.

Boots or Sneakers? Sneakers. We’re all about Nikes and Adidas.

Breakfast or Dinner? Trick question…We love breakfast for dinner.

Juice or Smoothie? Smoothies.

Gym or Outdoors? We love the outdoors! We love exploring new cities and seeing new sights.

Leather jacket or Blazer? Leather jacket! A leather jacket can take anyone from zero to hero.

About Mass Anthem


Mass Anthem is a Christian pop band originally from the Chicagoland area now located in Nashville, TN. The trio is comprised of brothers, Chad and Tyler Sowards, as well as Joey Atansio. Their debut album, ALIVE, was released in June, 2014, followed by their most recent record,  Through People Like Us,  which released on DREAM Records in January, 2018.

Mass Anthem relocated to Nashville, TN in pursuit of furthering their music career and making roots in the Christian industry. Mass Anthem has a passion for the youth and the upcoming generation. They hope their music inspires today’s youth and encourages them with a positive message. The band cites Newsboys, Colton Dixon, for KING and COUNTRY, Hawk Nelson, Citizen Way, and Hillsong Y&F as inspiration.