Top 20 Worship Songs of 2014, So Far

Each year in July, Worship Leader likes to offer our lay of the land so far as far as worship releases are concerned. So far this year has seen some wonderful offerings. There certainly are more to come throughout the year, but at this point, here are our favorite songs. Our criteria are biblical faithfulness, singability, and congregational use. The trend we are seeing so far? Well it’s a bit early, but we have found more meditational songs than we have ever before. Certainly the anthems are abundant, but it is refreshing to hear a bit of quiet and contemplation making waves in the worship realms.

20. “My God Is Stronger”
The Fading Veil
Classic City Collective
Writers: Josh Bayne, Paul Reeves

19. “Defender”
Kings Kaleidoscope
Live In Color EP
Writers: Kings Kaleidoscope

18. “Love Comes Down”
Various Artists
All The Saints: Live from the CentricWorship Retreat, No. 1
Writers: Lauren Daigle, Michael Farren, Seth Mosley

17. “Psalm 118”
Robbie Seay Band
Psalms, Vol. 2 (independent)
Writers: Robbie Seay

16. “Unstoppable Love”
Jesus Culture
Unstoppable Love
Writers: Christa Black, Kim Walker-Smith, Skyler Smith

15. “I Shall Not Want”
Audrey Assad
O Happy Fault EP
Writers: Audrey Assad, Bryan Brown

14. “It Is Well”

Bethel Music
You Make Me Brave
Writers: Horatio Gates Spafford, Kristene DiMarco, Philip Paul Bliss

13. “All Arise”

Michael W. Smith
Writers: Jason Ingram, Michael W. Smith

12. “Made for Worship”

Endless Praise
Writers: Andy Harrison, Joth Hunt

11. “Nearness of You”
Loud Harp
Writers: Asher Seevinck, Dave Wilton

10. “Future/Past”
John Mark McMillan
Writers: John Mark McMillan

9. “I Am”
Neon Steeple
Writers: David Crowder, Ed Cash

8. “You Lift Us Up”
Paul Baloche
Paul Baloche Live
Writers: Matt Maher, Paul Baloche

7. “At the Cross (Love Ran Red)”

Passion, feat. Chris TomlinTake It All
Writers: Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jonas Myrin, Matt Armstrong, Matt Redman

6. “Vapor”
The Liturgists
Writers: Lisa Gungor, Michael Gungor

5. “Only King Forever”

Elevation Worship
Only King Forever
Writers: Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Steven Furtick, Wade Joye

4. “Joy”

Rend Collective
The Art of Celebration
Writers: Rend Collective

3. “Christ Be All Around Me”
All Sons & Daughters
All Sons & Daughters
Writers: David Leonard, Jack Mooring, Leeland Mooring, Leslie Jordan

2. “This I Believe (The Creed)”

Hillsong Worship
No Other Name
Writers: Ben Fielding, Matt Crocker

1. “Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)”

Kari Jobe, Majestic (Live)
Writers: Brian Johnson, Christa Black Gifford,
Gabriel Wilson, Jenn Johnson, Joel Taylor, Kari Jobe
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Album Review: Rend Collective's The Art Of Celebration

The Art Of Celebration is a humble attempt to bring back the often disregarded element in worship: celebration. As the group describes, it’s what the Psalmist calls “a joyful noise”. Boasting 13 tracks, this latest offering from Rend Collective gives a very positive and light vibe to the soul.

The first track, Joy, marks an energetic start. Its first line “we’re choosing celebration” is what the album all about. With a greater energy and tempo, Burn Like A Star stands out off the album. It calls us to shine brighter for Jesus, to change the History for His cause. And on the other side, the message of the next song, My Lighthouse, is Jesus shinning upon us. In the darkness, He is the One who leads us through, our peace in our troubled sea.

Musically speaking, The Art Of Celebration is superb in production. Embracing their native origin, Rend Collective chose their Irish folk instruments to give life to the songs. More Than Conqueror stands out in terms of this. The collective instruments in a slow pace complement the message and the vocals. And speaking of vocals, the most vocally-driven song in the album is All That I Am, an exhortation of the life of worship found in Romans 12:2.Laying aside the folky sound, Strength Of My Life, is the most mainstream-sounding cut in the album; finely orchestrated but generic in structure.

The album ends with its title track Boldly I Approach (The Art Of Celebration), which is kind of ironic for me. I assumed and expected it to be the most joyous of all joyous cut in the album, but in the end it’s the most solemn. The song is all about the freedom that Christ has given to humanity when the veil was torn, when He said, “It is finished”. It has given us the freedom and access to approach the throne of Grace in worship. What I love most about this song is the theological richness and truth found on its lyrics. It is the most “worshipful” track on the entire album, and also my favourite.

Indeed, Rend Collective is no longer an Experiment. So far, The Art Of Celebration is their best and finest.  Though some of the songs are not lyrically and theologically in-depth, still, they afford us a unique and different way of worship, with an element of celebration.

Disclosure: A review copy of The Art Of Celebration was provided for review by House of Praise, from whom you may purchase the album.

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Feeling Forgotten By God? (Devotional)

Feeling Forgotten By God? (by Mark D. Roberts)

Has it ever seemed to you as if God has forgotten you? Sure, your theology said otherwise. But, in your heart, you sensed an aching emptiness where God was supposed to be. Your prayers seemed to bounce off the ceiling as if God was not listening. Have you known this experience?

I recall a time during my pastorate at Irvine Presbyterian Church when God seemed to have disappeared. Yes, I knew this wasn’t actually true. But, as people’s criticisms of me pierced my heart and as my prayers for help went unanswered, I felt terribly alone, as if God had forgotten about me or turned his back on me. Why wasn’t he there to comfort me and deliver me?

My experience is not unusual. Throughout history, God’s people have worried that they have been forgotten by their Lord. Consider, for example, a passage from Isaiah 49. It begins with marvelous promises. God will set his people free, feeding them, guiding them, demonstrating his love for them (49:8-13). This passage ends with a rousing call to worship:

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

Did the people respond with joyful praise? Hardly. In fact, they said: “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me” (49:14). In their suffering, the Israelites couldn’t sense God’s presence or fathom his love. They felt forsaken and forgotten.

Notice the Lord’s response. He did not rebuke them for their unbelief. Rather, he affirmed his loving commitment to them in some of the most moving, tender words in all of Scripture:

Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. (49:15-16a)

First, God uses the image of a nursing mother to reassure his people. It’s almost impossible to imagine that a mother would forget or lack compassion for the baby at her breast. Although we know from news’ headlines and from the implications of this Scripture, that mother’s “may” indeed forget their children, yet we are assured God’s remembering of and love for his people exceeds that of even the most tenderhearted mother.

Second, the Lord employs a metaphor from the social system of the ancient Near East. Slaves would often be marked in order to demonstrate their lifelong bond to their master. A permanent mark, perhaps a cut or a tattoo, would be applied to the slave’s hand. God, who has no master, has chosen to mark himself to signify his eternal bond with his beloved people. Thus he says, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”

The reassuring words of the Lord through Isaiah were initially intended for the people of Israel as they, in their suffering, felt forgotten by God. Yet these words speak also to us when we wonder if God is still there for us. The God who has revealed himself in Jesus Christ is to us like a nursing mother who will never forget her beloved child. God has chosen to bond himself to us by, in a sense, engraving us in the palms of his hands.

We see God’s never-forgetting, always-remembering love for us even more powerfully in the palms of the hands of Jesus. They were not just engraved for us. They were pierced for us as Jesus was crucified. The scarred palms of Jesus, who died and is now risen, show us beyond a shadow of a doubt that God will never forget us.

No matter your situation, no matter your suffering, no matter how distant God might seem, he never forgets you, ever. Thus, when you remember the Lord, you remember the one who first remembers you.

Lord, you know there are times when I struggle to believe you are still there for me. Like the children of Israel, I can feel forsaken and forgotten. Thank you, dear Lord, for the reassurance of this passage from Isaiah. How wonderful to know that you will always remember me, just as a mother remembers her nursing child. How amazing to think that you have engraved me in the palms of your nail-scarred hands. All praise be to you because you always remember me. Nothing can take me away from your love. Amen.

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My 19th Birthday + JIL Church 36th Anniversary Celebration

Yesterday, I turned 19, and I am so thankful to the Lord for the strength, guidance, blessings, and favor that He has given. Through the years, He remained so faithful and good to me and my family. Though I experienced the most tragic moment in my life this year, my mom’s death, I never felt forsaken; I never felt abandoned, never alone.

What’s memorable about my birthday this year is, my home church, JILCW (Jesus Is Lord Church Worldwide) also marks a page in its history, the celebration of its 36th year. I was so happy, and because of that, I celebrated my birthday at Luneta, our church’s anniversary venue.
The program started at 3:30 PM and ended at 9:30 PM—six hours of worship celebration to the Most High God. Indeed, it’s my most memorable birthday, so far. It is so remarkable and life-changing. This year’s anniversary theme was all about peace and holiness (Hebrews 12:14). Our keynote speaker, President Aquino, has not only given a speech, but also prayed for the peace and unity in the Philippines. I will never forget the time, when Bishop Eddie Villanueva prayed for everyone. I really felt the Lord is touching me, and the thick atmosphere of His presence is passing by. That time, I renewed my vow to the Lord, to serve Him through the thick and thin. And my prayer that night is for Him to use me more, to give me greater faith, and desire to live a holy and righteous life.

I am so grateful, that each passing moment, every gift of breath and life that God is giving, is an opportunity to live for Him, to serve Him. I have seen a lot of people, and I know a lot who have turned away from the Lord and ended in misery. I can’t imagine my life living without the Lord; because life without Jesus is not life at all, because Jesus is the Life (John 14:6). He is my life; He is my Lord and Savior; and I exist to proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

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10 Things I've Learned About Worship Leading by Taya Smith

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Integrity Music Announces Global Release For Worship Central Recording, Set Apart

NEWS SOURCE: Integrity Music
October 17, 2014

London's Worship Central return this fall with a new live recording that boldly reminds believers that they are Set Apart for the Kingdom of God. The 14-track album releases globally on October 27 through Integrity Music with availability in retail stores and through all major digital service providers including iTunes and Amazon.

Set Apart is a passionate follow-up to Worship Central's critically acclaimed album Let It Be Known, which was described by Worship Leader magazine as a "must have" and tapped as the magazine's No. 1 "Editor's Pick" for worship albums in 2013.

With Set Apart, Worship Central director Tim Hughes ("Here I Am To Worship") and team members Ben Cantelon ("Love Came Down"), Nikki Fletcher ("All Glory"), and Luke Hellebronth ("Spirit Break Out") deliver a new set of songs written both in and for the Church. The album also features guest co-writers including Dove Award nominee Benji Cowart and GRAMMY Award nominee Jason Ingram.

The resulting tracklist takes listeners from joy-filled praise to intimate moments of worship with songs like "Stand Up," a rousing call for unity, and the promise-filled "Dead Things To Life." The song "Enough Light" is a faith-building, slow burning anthem of encouragement while the songs "Let Go" and "The Way" are fuel for the journey, and the title track reminds believers that they are "Set Apart for our God above, Set Apart for the One we love."

The album ends with the ideal benediction, the prayerful song "Singing Over Us," a nod to Zephaniah 3:17, followed by the spontaneous worship song, "Wide Open Spaces," led by Tim Hughes. As the album closes, listeners hear Hughes declaring: "God is calling us to be his good news, God is calling us to be his love to a broken world… to a fatherless generation."

Worship Central have released two videos from the live recording of Set Apart through YouTube, with the title track available at "Set Apart" and the radio single available at "The Way". They will share these songs and others from Set Apart and their previous albums at the 2014 Worship Central conference slated for October 31-November 1 at Central Hall Westminster. The event, which offers a variety of workshops from the Worship Central training team, also features guest speakers and worship leaders Martin Smith, Bryan and Katie Torwalt, Louie Giglio, Jake Isaac and Mike Pilavachi. Additional information, including registration details, is available at

Worship Central is a movement to train, equip and resource worship leaders, musicians and worshippers. Since its launch in 2006 under the auspices of Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB), the church that developed the groundbreaking "Alpha Course," tens of thousands of people have attended training events on three continents, and hundreds of thousands have visited Worship Central's website for practical resources. Tim Hughes writes, "…there's a real need to train worship leaders spiritually, practically and with good leadership skills. Our passion is to see the worship life of the local church around the world explode."

Additional information, including details related to Worship Central's conference and free online resources, is available at
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Album Review: Bethel Music's You Make Me Brave

In the midst of uncertainties and hopelessness; a world of post-Christian culture, Bethel Music stands to declare the hope and power found in Jesus with their newest live praise and worship album, You Make Me Brave. This 12-track CD+DVD release was recorded live at Redding Civic Auditorium in California at one of Bethel Church’s Women’s Conference Nights; and because of that, all songs were sung by female vocals; including Amanda Cook, Kristene DiMarco, Jenn Johnson, Leah Valenzuela, Steffany Gretzinger, and Kari Jobe.

What God has been impressing now to the hearts of the songwriters of You Make Me Brave is powerfully and prophetically manifested on its songs. Each track declares faith and victory in Jesus—captured in a thick atmosphere of pure worship. These songs are timely for every Christians who are fighting a good fight of faith to fulfill God’s great commission.

The title cut, You Make Me Brave, speaks of our nothingness and vulnerability before God. Written and sung by Amanda Cook, this track is a bold declaration of faith to a God that is for us and not against us; a perfect combination to Kristene DiMarco’s It Is Well, the next song. This is not a new rendition of Scriven’s classic hymn, but it delivers just the same message. The weight of the atmosphere of worship joined by heavy instrumentation, and DiMarco’s breathy vocals make the song my favorite cut.

Previously recorded at her latest live solo album, Majestic, Kari Jobe’s Forever is one of the album stand-outs. It is a good decision for them to add this magnificent track to the song line up. There is no doubt to the impact that this song is bringing to the congregation, for it is the longest worship moment on album, spanning eleven minutes and a half; this may not be your most radio-friendly choice but it really stirs the faith within. Other prime tracks include Gretzinger’s piano-laced We Dance, and Jenn Johnson’s faith-filled Come To Me.

Truth be told, tracks of spontaneous worships don’t really have functions, especially to the worship team. And You Make Me Brave has three of these. As a matter of fact, there are also lots of these on Bethel Music’s preceding albums. Yes, they are good to listen at, but I think they should not count them as songs on their future releases.

You Make Me Brave, literally, is both timely and timeless record for every Christians. It teaches us to trust in God whatever the situations are. It tells us to fear not as we navigate through uncharted territories; for God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). I believe, the songs on You Make Me Brave will speak powerfully to any listener; and will surely give strength to weary souls.

Disclosure: A review copy of You Make Me Brave was provided for review by House of Praise, from whom you may purchase the album.
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My Saved Festival 2014 Experience

Hello readers! Recently, I shared to you about my Hillsong United concert experience. Today, I’m gonna share to you my Saved Festival 2014 Journey.

October the 10th, a day before the Saved Festival 2014, my cousin, Rochel, had won four (4) Patron Tickets from a contest hosted by Ms. Kaye Catral of House of Praise (the one who also hosted the Hillsong United tickets giveaway, isn’t she so generous!?); and I am one of the blessed people to join her, along with my sister, Dannese, and our childhood friend and churchmate, Divina.

It was my first time to attend a conference like this. Since its inception in 2012, I have heard a lot of awesome things happening on the night of Saved Festival. Holding its theme, NO OTHER NAME, this year’s conference features some world-renown worship artists, which include Israel Houghton and New Breed, Esterlyn, Victory Worship, and guest speaker Francis Chan.

Saved Festival 2014 started 7:30 PM, sharp (unlike the Hillsong United Concert, which is 30 minutes late). Our country’s very own Victory Worship is the one who opened the conference with their world-class worship music. All I can feel that time is excitement and goose bumps! There is really nothing else to feel when the presence of God is roving around as we worship.

The next artist to lead in worship is Esterlyn. Luke Caldwell, the vocalist, is just so passionate as he worships. He was the one who led the crowd in prayer for the word of God—conveyed by the speaker, pastor, and author, Francis Chan. I will never forget the message that night. It was all about the lies that the world has taught us. He also said that when the time comes that we are standing face to face with God, it could be the worst or best day of our life, depending on how we will respond to God’s greatest expression of love. He urged everyone to always read the bible, and have an assurance in Jesus. And before he ended his message, he prayed for everyone.

The last artist who led the crowd in worship was Israel Houghton and the New Breed. All people are dancing, jumping, shouting and singing like there’s no tomorrow. At one moment, Israel announced that they are going to record some of the new songs for their upcoming release “Alive In Asia” live! After saying those words, people inside the hall got more alive, and I could literally feel the excitement in the air. And so as expected, Israel Houghton, The New Breed, and BJ Putnam thought us the lyrics and melodies of the new songs. Everything was just perfect and memorable.

Before Israel Houghton and his crew left, he reached out to the people next to the stage, and I was so blessed to be one of them. That night was just epic and amazing; it ended 12:30 AM—five hours of worship! Can you imagine!? We reached our home at almost 4 o’clock in the morning. Though tired, our spiritual strength had been replenished and filled. All glory and thanks be unto Him who sits on the throne—No other name, Jesus.

See the worship setlist below:

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Andrew Peterson to Release Retrospective Project November 11, 2014 After All These Years

NEWS SOURCE: Bozeman Media
October 2, 2014

Nashville, TN (October 2, 2014) ---- Singer/songwriter/author Andrew Peterson is sure to delight his faithful fans with his latest release, After All These Years. It’s a body of work that showcases some of the most poignant songs from his 18-year recording career. Produced by Harold Rubens (audio engineer for Steven Curtis Chapman, Brandon Heath, Robbie Seay), After All These Years presents many of Peterson’s previous songs with new production and offers three new compositions: “After All These Years,” “To All The Poets,” and “Everybody’s Got A Song.” The physical copy of the album will feature eighteen songs, while the digital version will offer two bonus tracks. 

“After finishing the last Wingfeather book I knew it was time to put out a new record, but I was creatively spent," explains Peterson. "It seemed like a good time to put out a collection, maybe write a few new songs and re-record a couple of old ones with some good friends. But it quickly blossomed into a pretty massive undertaking—we ended up recording twelve songs, which is even more than a typical record. Getting into the studio with those guys and reliving all the songs reminded me why I got into music in the first place. It was a huge blessing.”

The first single to launch is the title track, “After All These Years,” which Peterson wrote as a song of gratitude as he looked back at God’s provision over the years: You never let go/you led me by the hand into a land of green and gold…your love endures forever, wherever I go/after all these years, that’s all that I know. Peterson’s classics that have been re-recorded for the new album include his first hit, “Nothing to Say” and “Faith to Be Strong” (Carried Along), “No More Faith” and “Isn’t It Love“ (Clear To Venus), “High Noon,” “The Silence Of God” and “After The Last Tear Falls” (Love & Thunder). More recent songs from Peterson’s latest projects are, “The Good Confession” (Resurrection Letters II), “The Reckoning” and “Dancing In The Minefields” (Counting Stars), “You’ll Find Your Way” (Light For The Lost Boy).

Coming up next for Peterson is his will be his fifth annual 2014 Hutchmoot event in Nashville, October 9-12. This will be followed by his 15th annual Behold The Lamb Of God Christmas Tour that runs December 3 – 20. For more touring updates on Peterson please visit online at, or

About Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is a man of many talents with a successful recording and songwriting career, as well as being an award-winning author and the host of a highly popular online creative community known as the Rabbit Room ( Peterson will be releasing his new studio album, After All These Years, in November 2014, while his last project, Light for the Lost Boy, received rave reviews from several media outlets hailing the project as “best album of the year,” and garnered two 2013 Dove Award nominations. His previous project Counting Stars debuted at #1 on iTunes, and #6 on Billboard. His single, “Dancing in the Minefields,” reached the Top 10 on the Christian AC chart, while the video for the song has received well over 1,000,000 views online. Peterson will embark on his 15th annual Behold the Lamb of God Christmas Tour in 2014.

Track listing for After All These Years:

1. After All These Years
2. The Reckoning
3. After The Last Tear Falls (2014)
4. All Things New
5. Don’t You Want To Thanks Someone
6. Lay Me Down
7. Faith To Be Strong (2014)
8. You’ll Find Your Way
9. Dancing In the Minefields
10. The Good Confession
11. Isn’t It Love (2014)
12. The Far Country
13. The Silence Of God (2014)
14. Holy Is The Lord (2014)
15. Romans 11 (Doxology)
16. Nothing To Say (2014)
17. No More Faith (2014)
18. To All The Poets
19. High Noon (Live, 2014)
20. Everybody’s Got A Song
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Album Review: Citipointe Live's Wildfire

Shinning from Brisbane, Australia, Citipointe Live is one of the most passionate worship teams that I know. This amazing group has been resourcing the church with anointed worship songs for years now. Their biggest hit “You Reign” written by their Worship Pastor Aaron Lucas is simply astounding, and its message is still ringing in my ears. Devoted, their 2008 release is one my all-time favourite albums in my collection, and this year they are offering us their latest live praise and worship album “Wildfire”.

Recorded live over several worship nights at Citipointe Church, this new album comprises 10 new songs; and unlike their previous albums which are CD+DVD releases, “Wilfire” only comes on CD.

What I love most about Citipointe Live is their blazing passion for Jesus and people; and this passion to make the gospel of Jesus known to all is extremely manifested on their preceding albums. More than ever, this thing is wonderfully woven to Wildfire.

Musically speaking, Wilfire offers a high variety of musicianship. The melodies and beat are so catchy. On Top Of The World, the opening song, sets the mood of the album on high. It literally brings you on the top of the world as Joel Ramsey sings. Its high energy will surely motivate you to sing and dance for Jesus. Other energetic songs are Wildfire, and Unstoppable. On the other side, Wilfire also offers atmospheric worship moments. Some of the songs that you shouldn’t miss are My Soul Yearns, Greater Is, If Not For Love, and Living Water. Chardon Lewis’ If Not For Love is my favourite cut off the album. Its powerful message is simply moving. Truthfully speaking, Lewis’ song is what I anticipate most on Citipointe Live’s album annually. His voice and different way of worship leading gives life to any song that he sings. Becky Lucas’ Living Water is my favorite in terms of musicality. I adore her fervent voice which is so unique.

Lyrically, Wilfire is rich. After listening to all its songs, I must say that God’s love, power, and finished work on the cross are Wilfire’s central theme. I commend Beau Lamshed for writing the anthemic and in-depth song, Lion. The rest of the album is brilliant and powerful. In sum, the worship on Wildfire is authentic, and contagious. Every track on this album is congregational, and it captures the heart of the people—and that is to sing of God’s great love.

I give thanks to the creative team of Citipointe Church. Without them, the unseen people, there will be no beautiful albums like Wildfire.
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Mandisa Brings "High Energy and Inspiration" on Remix Project, Get Up: The Remixes, Available Now

NEWS SOURCE: The M Collective
October 1, 2014

Nashville, Tenn. (October 1, 2014) - GRAMMY® winner Mandisa brings a whole new element of "high energy and inspiration" on her first full-length remix album, Get Up: The Remixes, available now. Featuring 11 remixes of her biggest hits - including "Overcomer," "Stronger" and "Good Morning," all three of which Mandisa has performed on ABC's Good Morning America - Get Up: The Remixes follows the success of her best-selling and critically acclaimed album Overcomer. praised Get Up: The Remixes for providing the listener with "non-stop, feel good dance music" while Hollywood Jesus was quick to call out "Good Morning (feat. TobyMac)" for it's "sweeping background and club-ready groove." called the album a "musical B12 shot of energy, featuring soulful vocals alongside playful yet creative new arrangements that give the music renewed life."
In less than two weeks, Mandisa will perform at the 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards, where she is nominated for Artist of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year for Overcomer, Song of the Year, Contemporary Christian Performance of the Year and Short Form Video of the Year for "Overcomer." The show will be held at Lipsomb University's Allen Arena October 7 and will air globally on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. 

Mandisa is currently on the "Thrive Tour" with Casting Crowns and Sidewalk Prophets. To see if Mandisa is coming to a city near you, visit

About Mandisa
With more than 1 million records sold, GRAMMY® winner and and American Idol Season 5 finalist Mandisa is a voice of encouragement and truth to people facing life's challenges all around the world. In less than a year, Mandisa performed her three hit singles "Overcomer," "Good Morning," and "Stronger" on the highest rated morning show, ABC's Good Morning America (GMA.) Her performance of "Stronger" welcomed the emotional return of beloved morning host Robin Roberts. The NFL also welcomed Mandisa to perform the national anthem during a Sunday night NFL Network game to kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month where she was joined by members of the 49ers family who are survivors. Her album, Overcomer, released in 2013 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart, with the album's title track holding on to the No. 1 spot for twelve weeks on the National Christian Audience chart as well as the No. 1 position on the Christian/Gospel Core Digital sales chart for several weeks. This year, Mandisa was awarded a GRAMMY® for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for her best-selling and critically acclaimed project Overcomer. Additionally, "Overcomer's" songwriters (David Garcia, Ben Glover & Christopher Stevens) won the GRAMMY® for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song. Her first full-length remix album, Get Up: The Remixes, is available now.
Get Connected with Mandisa
Website //
Twitter // Facebook //
YouTube // Spotify //
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Thomas Nelson to Release "The Reluctant Journey" October 14th and Marks Second Book in New Refraction Series

NEWS SOURCE: Bozeman Media
October 2, 2014

Nashville, TN (October 2, 2014) ---- Thomas Nelson will release the second book in the company's new Refraction series, The Reluctant Journey, on October 14th. Written by noted author and Trevecca Nazarene University professor, Dr. Richard Leslie Parrott, the book shows you how to fulfill God's purpose for your life. Dr. Parrott gives practical steps and ways to live out the truths of the Lord's Prayer and stories of the founders of our faith. The book also offers thought-provoking questions for spiritual conversation and reflection. 

Speaking about The Reluctant Journey, bestselling author and speaker Dr. Stan Toler says, "Through the stories of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, and others, Richard Parrott has unpacked the grace of God in word pictures that will renew the heart and inspire the reader."

The Reluctant Journey offers a path of spiritual authenticity that is not a solo endeavor but a calling to a partnership with God. This journey requires utter honesty, trust, commitment, and wisdom. God guides your path with the promise of His love and guidance to do His work in the world. Dr. Richard Parrott offers biblical examples of truly hearing the voice of God as experienced by the family of Abraham and Sarah, their son Isaac, grandson Jacob, and great-grandson Joseph. The Reluctant Journey is an honest and practical guide for relating to God and learning how to truly trust and live out His promises.

The books in Thomas Nelson's Refraction collection candidly speak into the biggest issues we face today, appealing to believers who want fresh ideas for outreach and spiritual growth, and non-believers who want a deeper meaning in life. Refraction books cross theological boundaries in an open and honest way, through succinct and candid writing for a contemporary, millennial-minded reader. The Reluctant Journey will be available at all online and retail book outlets. For more information on The Reluctant Journey and the Refraction book series please visit online:

About Dr. Richard Leslie Parrott
Dr. Richard Parrott is a professor at Trevecca Nazarene University, teaching leadership studies in the areas of business, education, and Christian ministries. Dr. Parrott is also an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene with a quarter century of pastoral ministry. His publications include, My Soul Purpose; True and Best: Authentic Living; When Pastors Pray; and Leadership Lessons: Avoiding the Pitfalls of King Saul (with Dr. Ralph Hawkins).

About Thomas Nelson
Thomas Nelson publishers is a world leading provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years. As part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing Inc., the publishing group provides multiple formats of award-winning Bibles, books, gift books, cookbooks, curriculum and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Thomas Nelson is headquartered in Nashville, TN. For additional information visit
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The Gospel Music Association Announces More Talent And Partners For The 45th Annual Gma Dove Awards

NEWS SOURCE: Wortman Works
October 1, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (October 1, 2014) - The GMA continues to announce exciting additions to the 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards with new performers, presenters and partners. Meredith Andrews & Vertical Church have been added as performers to the lineup, as well as Colton Dixon and Mark Hall of Casting Crowns as presenters. In addition, SoundExchange and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® join the event as key partners. Hosted by Bart Millard of MercyMe and Lecrae, the awards show will take place on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at the Allen Arena on the campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee at 6:30p.m. and will be broadcast exclusively on The Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), Sunday, October 12, 2014. The preshow awards ceremony and the Dove Cares Red Carpet will stream live at 

Awards will be given out in 46 categories, including four special award recipients. The annual preshow ceremony, sponsored by SoundExchange, will once again bring standout performances. Co-host Jonathan McReynolds, William McDowell, Flame, The Perrys, Finding Favor and the JJ Weeks Band will all perform for the highly attended preshow ceremony.

"It is an honor for SoundExchange to sponsor the Dove Awards on its momentous 45th anniversary. SoundExchange collects royalties from digital radio services like Sirius XM and Pandora on behalf of all artists and record companies, and works behind-the-scenes on behalf of everyone represented at the Dove Awards. There are countless opportunities available today for Christian and Gospel artists on digital radio, and we are working to ensure this community benefits from them," said SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe. "I look forward to sharing time with the many artists and labels that will be together this week for the prestigious award ceremonies and events."

Huppe will present some brief remarks about the importance of SoundExchange, specifically for the Christian and Gospel genres, at the pre-awards gathering Tuesday afternoon.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® returns for their second consecutive year as partners of the Dove Cares Red Carpet.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened 50 years ago, and St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade. The hospital freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, so every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.

"Last year's addition of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to the Dove Cares Red Carpet experience made a lasting impression on the participating artists," says GMA President and Executive Director Jackie Patillo. "Their presence brings an incredible energy and fresh perspective to what we all have to celebrate."

45th Annual GMA Dove Awards Schedule of Events: 
Monday, October 6:

11:30 - 1:00 Nominee Luncheon presented by Cantinas Foundation

@Schermerhorn Symphony Center with special guest Beth Moore
7:30 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards Comedy Show

with headliner Bone Hampton. Hosted by former Dove Award winner,
Chris August, and music by former Dove Award recipient Mr. TalkBox,
the show will be held on Monday, @ Shamblin Theater on the campus of
Tuesday, October 7:
2:00- 4:30 Dove Awards Preshow co-hosted by Jonathan McReynolds and
Meredith Andrews @ Collins Alumni Auditorium (Lipscomb campus)
sponsored by SoundExchange
3:30- 6:00 Dove Cares Red Carpet in partnership with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®
6:30- 9:00 45th Annual GMA Dove Awards at Allen Arena (Lipscomb University) hosted by Bart Millard of MercyMe and Lecrae

About SoundExchange:

SoundExchange is the independent nonprofit performance rights organization representing the entire recorded music industry. The organization collects statutory royalties on behalf of recording artists and master rights owners for the use of their content on satellite radio, Internet radio, cable TV music channels and other services that stream sound recordings. The Copyright Royalty Board, created by Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the only entity in the United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties from more than 2,500 services. SoundExchange has paid out more than $2 billion in royalties since its inception. For more information, visit

About GMA:

Founded in 1964, the Gospel Music Association serves as the face and voice for the Gospel/Christian music community and is dedicated to exposing, promoting and celebrating the Gospel through music of all styles including Pop, Rock, Praise & Worship, Urban Gospel, R&B, Hip Hop, Southern Gospel, Bluegrass, Country and more. The GMA community includes agents, artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters and other industry visionaries. The GMA produces the GMA Dove Awards, GMA Honors and IMMERSE. For more on supporting the GMA or becoming a member, please visit

About the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks:

With 28 networks and growing worldwide, the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks is the world's largest faith-and-family television group, airing a broad range of church and ministry programming, Christian music, family friendly movies, children's programming, and shows for teens and young adults 24 hours a day to every inhabited continent via 87 satellites and 20,000 television and cable affiliates. In addition, TBN's most popular global networks are available on computers, smart phones, and other mobile devices, and over 24,000 hours of entertaining and inspiring On-Demand programming is accessible via TBN's innovative online network, To find out more about the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks, log on to

Dove Awards Social Media Platforms:

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Twitter - Hashtag - #DoveAwards
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Album Review: Playlist: The Very Best of Israel & New Breed

Israel Houghton is one my all-time favorite Christian Artists. He has released multiple solo albums and numerous collaborations with finest Christian artists. Among which are Darlene Zschech (he’s a co-producer of Darlene’s Revealing Jesus), Michael Gungor, Ricardo Sanchez, Marvin Sapp and many more. There is no question to the gifts and talents that Houghton has. These have given him numerous awards and nominations including: six Dove Awards, three Grammy Awards, two Stellar Awards, and two gold albums. Truly, Israel has been blessed since his birth to Christian Music Industry in 1997.

Excellence in musicality and song writing are very rare to artists today. Either one will have the first and will lack the other, and vice versa. And I must say that these two are so much present to Israel Houghton. His musical gift is so stunning. The variety and richness of his musicality and song writing are breaking musical, denominational, and racial barriers.

“Playlist: The Very Best of Israel & New Breed” is part of Sony Music Entertainment’s “Playlist” titles. This edition featuring Israel and his founded group New Breed gathers 13 of their best songs from their previous albums. If you have all of Israel and New Breed’s discography in your collection, this compilation album will be so irrelevant for you. If ever not, it would still be the same, considering the fact that their previous compilation album “Decade” is still fresh to us.  It is far better when it comes to track listing, which boasts 27 songs; you’ll probably choose it rather than “Playlist”.

On the other side, “Playlist” is still worth-having. If you are new to Israel and New Breed’s songs, this compilation is a very good introduction to you. Having been released two years after “Decade”, it brings four tracks from their “Jesus at the Center” album; such songs are not included on the previous compilation. Another thing is, it features three prominent Gospel artists Michael Gungor, Fred Hammond, and Kirk Franklin with songs “You Have Me/ You Hold My World”, “Surprises”, and “Mercies” respectively. Giving the album extra spice and flavor.

“Playlist: The Very Best of Israel & New Breed” may not be the most powerful and creative compilation album Israel and the New Breed have ever released; but still it shines the glory of our God that is being manifested in their lives. Indeed, Israel Houghton is one of the most brilliant and world-class Christian artists of all time. May God use him more powerfully to touch more lives and to bring greater glory to His name.

Catch Israel Houghton and the New Breed LIVE in Manila at Saved Festival 2014! On October 11th, Saturday, 7:30 PM, at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tickets are available at Ticketnet: 911555 or visit You may also call 910.5524 or 910.5352 for tickets.

Disclosure: A review copy of Playlist: The Very Best of Israel & New Breed was provided for review by House of Praise, from whom you may purchase the album.
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Pursue Peace and Be Holy

Peace and Holiness are the very nature of the Eternal Triune God. God the Father being the God of Peace (Hebrews 13:20); our Lord Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6); and the Holy Spirit whose fruit is peace (Galatians 5:22) are one (1 John 5:7). God says, “Be holy, for I Am Holy” (1 Peter 1:16), it is a strong command and not an option; we ought to be like Him. We are called to peace and holiness. Right from the start, these were also the nature of man, for man was created in God’s own image (Genesis 1:27). In the garden, our foreparents Adam and Eve were living in peace and harmony. Until sin entered into their hearts; it has caused everything to change. From that time on, man has lived in sin and misery. There is no hope, and people are bound to death. Then Jesus Christ came to earth to redeem man from sin. He is the promised King and Saviour, the restorer of everything that is broken; the One who brings peace, the giver of life and salvation.

Peace and Holiness go along together—they are inseparable. There is no true and right peace without holiness. Hebrews 12:14 declares: “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.” It is very clear that we should make peace with all people and not to select. Any self-professing, Bible-believing Christian should live a life of peace and holiness; otherwise one will just end up being a compromiser and a disgrace to God’s holy name. Peace being one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is an indicator of a spirit-filled and a spirit-led life. Though holiness is not perfect in this life because of our sinful flesh and earthly desires (Romans 7:21-25), there is a perfection of it in Christ Jesus. His amazing grace has paved way for everything—for our salvation and for us to come freely to Him (Ephesians 2:8-9).


We see in Matthew 5:9, Jesus declares to the people that the peacemakers will be called the sons of God. Yes, it is an identity, our identity. You cannot declare to the world: “I am a servant of God” yet you have a wrath against your neighbour; never say to God: “I am Your worshipper” yet you hate your brother (Matthew 5:23-24). God knows every motive in our hearts, and He doesn’t dwell nor delight with one that is full of hatred and strife.

Apostle Paul exhorts to the Romans: “make every effort to do what leads to peace” (Romans 14:19). Amid the persecutions, he urges them to maintain the spirit of meekness, kindness and peace, and to wage not a spirit of war and revenge to foes and persecutors. Sometimes, we think that revenge is just due to our transgressors. But he [Paul] also urges us to take not revenge, but leave room for God’s wrath; for vengeance is the Lord’s (Romans 12:19). He is a God of Justice; all we need to do is to wait for His turn (Isaiah 30:18).


The pursuit of peace and holiness should always be among the hearts of everyone. We have read on the passage above that without which, no one will see the Lord—this is a very important warning. The absence of peace and holiness brings sin, and sin is an abomination to God because it has cost His Son’s life on the cross. On the other hand, the presence of these things brings righteousness. James 3:18 reads, “Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace”, and so peace and holiness should always be in our pursuit. God requires these things. The church that Christ shall present to Himself is the one that is glorious, radiant, and not having a spot, blemish or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27). Many people are so deceived to the thinking that it is just fine to sin freely because the righteousness of God is upon them--but, the righteousness of God was given to us through Christ Jesus so that we may be free from the bondage of sin, not free to make sin (Romans 5:17, Romans 6:13, 1 Corinthians 1:30). We cannot be saved by good works for we are saved by grace through faith and not by works, but dwelling in sin after being saved is not a true indication of true faith in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17); we need to work out our faith (Philippians 2:12) and live in holiness (Ephesians 5:27b). If we truly believe in God, and we love Him, we will imitate Him—who is a God of peace and holiness.

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