Awesome FREE Christian Music Events in Indiana!

If you are here on Spin: the Blog, I can only imagine that you probably like Christian music. (What a coincidence!  So do I!)

You may or may not live in the great state of Indiana, so if you don’t happen to be a Hoosier, then I feel for you in more ways than one; particularly because you are going to miss out on some awesome FREE Christian music events coming up in August!

Here are the details:

WORLD PULSE MUSIC FESTIVAL

The City Harmonic II

The City Harmonic!!!

WORLD PULSE MUSIC FESTIVAL–Seriously, this music festival has THE BEST line-up of any free Christian music festival I’ve ever heard of, and I’ve pretty much heard it all at this point. Coming to South Bend on Saturday, August 10th, 2013 the line-up includes, check this out: Tricia Brock (formerly of Superchick! Rock What You’ve Got! I Love her!!), Jason Castro (Uh, hello? Who doesn’t like Jason Castro? I think it would be impossible NOT to like Jason Castro!), the City Harmonic (I LOVE this band to the moon and back. Seriously, you have not lived until you’ve seen the City Harmonic in concert. Trust me on this!), Natalie Grant (No, I’m not kidding. I said ‘Natalie Grant’ and ‘Free’ in the same paragraph!!), Audio Adrenaline (Again, I am not joking. I paid $50 two months ago to see Audio Adrenaline and I thought it was a deal!), and…wait for it…SWITCHFOOT! Switchfoot! Can you believe that?

Jason Castro

Jason Castro

Like I said, this is THE line-up of free line-ups and it is coming to South Bend on Saturday, August 10th, 2013!

Tricia Brock

Tricia Brock

PLEASE NOTE you do HAVE TO HAVE a ticket to get in, but like I said, the tickets are free and still available over at iTickets.com. (For more information and/or additional places to pick up tickets, visit the festival’s website at http://www.worldpulsefestival.com). Of course, you will have to pay for parking ($25) and food (a complete list of what’s available and the prices are on the festival’s website).

I would happily pay these prices for parking and food any day that I get to see the City Harmonic play a live show, but when you throw in Tricia Brock, Jason Castro, Natalie Grant, Audio Adrenaline, and SWITCHFOOT to the mix…well, you know I’m gonna be there, and you should definitely be there too! In my opinion, this is going to be THE Christian Music event of the summer in Indiana so go grab some free tickets now while there are still some left!

CHRISTIAN MUSIC DAY AT THE INDIANA STATE FAIR

I swear I know nothing about these guys.  My son, however, is an expert on them!

I swear I know nothing about these guys. My son, however, is an expert on them!

CHRISTIAN MUSIC DAY at the INDIANA STATE FAIR–Again, another free event (although you do have to pay admission to the State Fair venue. Discount admission tickets are available at all Indiana Wal-Mart stores, CVS Pharmacies, and Indiana Farm Bureau Offices for $7. Kids under 5 are free! Gate admission is only $10.) The line-up for this festival taking place on Sunday, August 11th, 2013 from 2-9 pm is Brianna Caprice (I don’t have a clue who this is, but I intend to find out!), Jason Castro (he’s a busy guy this weekend!), Love & The Outcome (I’ve seen this duo and they are AMAZING!), some band called for King & Country (don’t know why anyone, particularly my 6 year old son Alex, would want to go see these guys. HA! 🙂 and Matthew West.

Matthew West’s kind of a slacker, but the rest of the line-up is decent. 

(Of course, I’m just kidding!  Matthew West is one of if not THE BEST entertainers in all of Christian Music.  You have to go see him if you haven’t yet!)

If those names aren’t enough to get you down to the State Fair on Sunday, August 11th, then I don’t know what will. (The World’s Largest Popcorn Ball? A 4,500 square foot barn made out of glass? An outdoor ice skating rink in Indiana in August? Just a few suggestions!)

Love and the Outcome

Love and the Outcome

The website for the Indiana State Fair is http://www.in.gov/statefair

I’ll be at both of these festivals the weekend of August 10th and I hope to see you there! Should be a rockin’ time 🙂  Let’s just hope the weather is not too sweltering hot…if I have another weekend where the temps get up like they did at LifeFest when my nail polish literally melted off of my nails, I don’t know if I’ll live to tell the tale!

Phil Joel Launches deliberateKids Kickstarter Campaign

These days, you just can’t escape the constant barrage of worldly messages that come at us from all sides during most of our waking hours.  From the TV to the internet to the newspaper, billions of dollars are spent every year crafting eye popping, shock and awe advertisements meant to draw our attention and pique our interest in buying some product we probably don’t even need anyway.  Even grocery carts and the sides of city buses compete for our attention, projecting provocative images and offensive content.

As a parent, how do you prepare your child to filter out the junk of this world that seems to be almost everywhere?  What can be done to guard the young hearts and protect the minds that have been entrusted to us from all the ugliness in the world?

Phil Joel, a former 14 year member of the Christian rock group the Newsboys and the founder of the deliberatePeople movement, has a simple but innovative idea to combat these very things.

DeliberateKids is a children’s music project that Joel, together with his wife Heather, originally created after becoming parents to their two children.  “There’s a lot of kids music out there,” said Joel with his trademark New Zealand accent, “but much of it is very, very old.  I wanted to create something rockin’, catchy, and super fun that would pour God’s truth into the hearts of kids everywhere.”

The original deliberateKids 1 & 2 were recorded and distributed thru a deal with a record label, and that deal officially came to end recently, said Joel in an interview at the WFRN Friend Fest on Saturday, June 22nd, 2013.  Now that the rights have been returned to the Joel family from the label, they are anxious to relaunch deliberateKids and “get this music back into the minivans and living rooms all over the country,” Joel said with a smile.

While Joel is passionate about getting the music back out to families, obtaining the financial backing for a grassroots project such as this one has proved rather challenging.  “A lot of people don’t realize that to do things the right way, it can get rather expensive to license your songs, pay out royalties, manufacture the CDs and so on,” said Joel,  “but it is important to us that we do this the right way.”

This is why the Joels have launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $15,000 needed to manufacture the project.  Currently, the campaign is a little over 50% funded with 3 weeks remaining in the campaign.  Project backers can donate as little as $1 or more than $3,500 with incentives ranging from a 5 song digital download sampler of the CD to a visit from Phil Joel to your church on Sunday morning.

“Every day, we receive calls or e-mails from people who want to know where to buy deliberateKids,” said Joel.  “It’s rather frustrating to tell them they can’t buy it because it’s nowhere to be found at the moment.  This Kickstarter campaign can change that.”

Notable fans (and parents)  of deliberateKids include tobyMac, Jeremy and Adie Camp, Matthew and Emily West, Peter Furler, Jon and Sherry Rivers, Patsy Clairmont, and comedian Bob Smiley.  Of the deliberateKids CDs, Matthew West has said “Our children love the deliberateKids music! God has uniquely gifted Phil and Heather with the ability to write songs that are fun, entertaining, and filled with the hope and the joy that we find in God’s promises. We tell all of our friends about dKids because we know parents need to be armed with tools like this as a way of filling our children’s hearts with the positive message of the hope we have in Christ!”

Ultimately, Joel hopes to expand the deliberateKids family to include daily devotionals for middle schoolers, family tool books, VBS materials, Sunday School curriculum, music videos, and perhaps even a deliberateKids 3.

For more information about this project, visit www.PhilJoel.com or click here to visit the deliberateKids Kickstarter page.

 

 

 

In addition to his work with deliberateKids and deliberatePeople, Phil Joel is also a solo artist and his projects are available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon. 

2013 Grammy Winners!

February 10th, 2013 was a big night at the Grammy’s for Christian Music!  Here’s a quick run down of the winners:

Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance–Matt Redman. Such a well-deserved win! I also love Matt Redman’s response to his win on Twitter. He said, “We wrote this song for the glory of God, so He gets all the glory today, too.” Beautiful!

The category for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song of the year was a tough one. So many great songs to choose from in this category! Nominees included 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin, Jesus, Friend of Sinners by Mark Hall and Matthew West, Your Presence is Heaven by Israel Houghton and Michah Massey, When Mercy Found Me by Jeff Pardo and Rhett Walker, and White Flag by Jason Ingram, Matt Maher, Matt Redman, and Chris Tomlin. (Side note: I wonder how Matt Redman must have felt to be competing against himself for this category? That’s awesome!) I have to admit, I was kind of pulling for my home boy Rhett Walker’s When Mercy Found Me, but the award was given jointly to 10,000 Reasons and Your Presence is Heaven. Both are truly great songs, and very well deserved wins for the songwriters. If you aren’t familiar with Your Presence is Heaven (To Me), check out the lyric video below on YouTube:

The winner for Best Gospel Album this year was Gravity by Lecrae. If I’m being very candid, of all the well deserved awards given out last night this one is probably tops. I’m not typically a big fan of rap music, but for a solid couple of months last summer I was completely hooked on Gravity. Couldn’t get enough of it! Lecrae is an amazing man of God, and you can check out his inspiring testimony below:

Another tough category at the Grammy’s was the Best Contemporary Christian Album. Nominated for the award was Eye On It by tobyMac, Come to the Well by the Casting Crowns, Where I Find You by Kari Jobe, Gold by Britt Nicole, and Into the Light by Matthew West. All of the nominees in this category had stellar projects and stellar years last year, but my one of my own favorites, tobyMac, walked away the big winner. Congratulations to Mr. Mac on the win and to the nominees! (As Matthew West said on Twitter, “I’m getting pretty good at saying ‘It’s just an honor to be nominated.’ Ha! Congrats to @therealtobymac on a well-deserved Grammy!”) You can check out tobyMac’s video for Eye On It featuring fellow nominee Britt Nicole below:

Winter Jam Pick #3–Matthew West’s Do Something

When we are talking about Matthew West and favorite song choices, the potential is there for an incredibly long discussion (or blog post!)  Personally, I’m not sure Matthew West could write and sing a bad song if he tried.  He’s that good of a singer/songwriter, and all I really need to prove that statement is his latest CD, Into the Light, which is chock-full of God-infused, heart moving tunes.

My friend Sarah and I saw Matthew West when he was out on his Into the Light tour last November with Mikeschair  and Lindsay McCaul, and we were both blown away with how great of a performer he is.  So, as for what songs he chooses to sing at Winter Jam, it will probably be along the same lines as Royal Tailor–even the Alphabet Song would totally rock.

Personally, one of my favorites from his new album is the song Do Something, so if he sneaks that one into the playlist, I’ll be good.  The opening lyrics to this song are some of my favorite lyrics ever, and so I will share them with you now:

I woke up this morning 
Saw a world full of trouble now 
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down 
How’s it ever gonna turn around 
So I turned my eyes to Heaven 
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of 
People living in poverty 
Children sold into slavery 
The thought disgusted me 
So, I shook my fist at Heaven 
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?” 
He said, “I did, I created you” 

So, if you see me going totally crazy at Winter Jam in Fort Wayne going nuts over the song Do Somthing, you’ll know why.  (And you can join me!)

Winter Jam Pick #6–Red’s Not Alone

Here’s a fun tidbit about me & Winter Jam–of all the bands set to appear at Winter Jam 2013, the only ones I have yet to see live and in person are OBB, Capital Kings, and Red.

Here’s another fun tidbit–I actually had front row tickets to go see Red last spring when they played at IPFW, but I was still recovering from the series of strokes I had in February.  In a surprising moment of good judgement, I elected to follow my doctor’s sound advice and temporarily avoid all rock concerts featuring loud music, pyrotechnics and explosions.  (In my defense, I was also on a heart monitor at the time, which we had learned a few weeks earlier could not handle the Come to the Well Tour.  You can only imagine what Red would do to a heart monitor if Matthew West & the Casting Crowns were setting it off!)  

It is now a year later and I’m fully recovered and raring to go for Sunday night’s concert, but there is one thing I haven’t forgotten–Red’s song, Not Alone, was one of the songs that really spoke to my heart during that difficult time of my life when I was healing (and, especially during those times when I wasn’t even sure if I ever would heal completely.)

So, with much adieu I’m looking forward to hopefully hearing Red sing “Not Alone”… and perhaps set off a few faux explosions in remembrance of the heart monitor I no longer have to wear.  Good times ahead, for sure!

I Officially Declare Next Sunday…Winter Jam!

Winter Jam

So if you live in the currently cold and dreary Fort Wayne, Indiana or surrounding area, I bet I know what you are thinking about today 🙂

Winter Jam is less than 1 week away!!

Personally, I think Winter Jam day in Fort Wayne should be declared an official holiday (as well as the day after Winter Jam, because really, who wants to go to work after having that much fun the night before?  It could be dangerous to a person’s health…well, it could!)

I know out of the 365 days in a calendar year, the days I look forward to the most are as follows:

  1. Christmas
  2. Easter
  3. Winter Jam

As you might imagine, I’m starting to get pretty excited right about now.  Also making me super-duper excited this year for Winter Jam is the sweet line-up, which includes not just one of my favorites, not two, not even three, but four of my very favorite performers from 2013.  (For those of you wondering, I’m talking about the Sidewalk Prophets, Mr. TobyMac, Matthew West, and Royal Tailor.)

Since I’ll probably be twiddling most of my week away daydreaming about the upcoming Winter Jam, I have decided that I might as well do something productive with my time and write a countdown this week of the songs/performances I am most looking forward to next Sunday at Winter Jam at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Which song/performers will come out on top as my #1 pick?  Will it be Matthew West?  The Sidewalk Prophets?  Or perhaps the master showman himself, Mr. TobyMac?

Yeah, I’m not telling.  You’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

In the meantime, however, you’ll be able to enjoy some fun snippets from me about my favorite songs.  I’ll also share the tunes on Spotify and the official videos via YouTube.  You can also take a minute and vote for your favorite song/performers at Winter Jam !

Enjoy…and if you’re in Fort Wayne, I’ll see you next Sunday!

Beth

27 Days of Christmas Music, Day 5: Mandisa’s Christmas Makes Me Cry

Mandisa

Matthew West – Christmas Makes Me Cry – feat. Mandisa

I’m going to be completely frank for the next few minutes.

For a lot of people out there, Christmas sucks.

Harsh as this may sound, you know as well as I do that it’s true.  We live in a completely broken, torn apart world.  Even while Psalm 47:8 plainly tells us, “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne,” I’d be lying if I didn’t freely admit that most of the time it seems like the only thing reigning in this messed up world is our own brokenness.

You better believe Mandisa and Matthew West aren’t the only ones Christmas has the potential to make cry.

I’d be surprised if anyone, anywhere didn’t at one time or another feel pretty darn miserable at Christmas.

I know I hurt when I think about how much I miss my grandmothers at Christmas time.

My heart breaks when I think about the Christmas memories I didn’t get a chance to make with my little girl.

I turn into a floodgate of emotions when faced with Hallmark Commercials, photos of golden retriever puppies wearing Christmas bows, sappy romantic holiday movies and stories revealing the true meaning of Christmas this time of year.

Niagara Falls has nothing on me in these instances, that much is certain.

Tonight as I ponder the true meaning of all my Christmas tears, an unexpected thought pops into my mind.

No one has ever written a song called “Easter Makes Me Cry.”

For a brief moment, I wonder why this is the case?  I mean, all the holiday stuff that makes people cry at Christmas is still pretty applicable at Easter.  Come to think of it, the story of Easter comes right on the heels of Jesus spending three days being tortured, dying a horrific death, and taking a trip to hell for sins He never committed.

Shouldn’t we not just be crying at Easter over the atrocities committed against our Savior, but tearing out our hair and gnashing our teeth as well?

I mean, seriously, if we are crying at Christmas time over the sweet story about the birth of a little baby boy lying in manger, shouldn’t Easter be filled with a little more angst?

Of course not.

(Had you going there for a minute, though, didn’t I?!)

So why all the tears at Christmas and not Easter?

Perhaps my favorite line of lyrics in Christmas Makes Me Cry explains why our emotions are closer to the surface at Christmas time than any other time of the year:

I think of Mary and the virgin birth
And I’m amazed by how much God thinks we are worth
That He would send His only Son to die
And sometimes Christmas makes me cry

As I picture my precious Savior lying in that lowly manger, the joy I feel as I celebrate His birth is coupled with the full knowledge of what Christmas would one day cost Him.

Because of me.  (You, too!)

…I’m amazed by how much God thinks we are worth

That He would send His only Son to die

While I’ve shed many tears at Christmas time, I can’t stop my heart from rejoicing with the knowledge that our Savior’s story didn’t end at Christmas.

It didn’t end when He died, arms outstretched, for you and for me, on the cross at Calgary either.

The promise that was made to us on that Christmas night so long ago was fulfilled in its entirety on that blessed Easter morn when the angel triumphantly announced, “He is not here; for he has risen as he said he would.” (Matthew 28:6)

Because of Easter, because my Lord is risen indeed, I believe with unsurpassing confidence that one day the tears I’ve shed in the past will matter no more, and all the pain and brokenness and death of this world will pass away.

All that will remain is the joy I feel knowing that the price my Savior paid for me has set me free from all of my tears, all of my sadness, and all of my pain forevermore.

No one cries at Easter because Jesus is alive!  Hallelujah!  (And a very merry Christmas, too!)

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

Revelation 21:4