Mandisa: Behind the Song Overcomer!

There are very few things I love more in this world besides a positive, encouraging, make you wanna get up and dance new song from  my favorite female artist, Mandisa.

Off the top of my head, the only worldly thing I can think of  that I love more is my 6 year old son, Alex.

So, you can imagine how excited I am that Mandisa’s latest and greatest single, Overcomer, is finally available for downloading over on iTunes today!  Yippee!!!  (Of course, I stayed up until midnight to download it.  I’m always afraid that when a song is as good as Overcomer is, iTunes might run out or something 🙂

In case you were wondering where Mandisa found the inspiration for Overcomer, check out the above video where she shares a little bit about the thought process behind the song.

If the story behind Overcomer doesn’t inspire you, then I bet Mandisa’s warm smile and beautiful inside-and-out self will.  (And if neither inspires you, then you should probably see a doctor because there’s something wrong with you!  I kid, I kid! 🙂

Brandon Heath’s ‘Love Does’ Video

Brandon Heath has a new video out for his song ‘Love Does’, and as one might expect of something Brandon Heath is involved in, the video is appropriately awesome.  (Love the song too!)  Enjoy!

Okay, and just to clarify a few things because I know I’m going to get a flood of e-mails tomorrow about the ring Brandon is sporting in the video—

Fact #1–I do not have any current information about Brandon Heath’s relationship status.  The only thing, I repeat, the only thing I know about the state of Brandon Heath being single is that his new single on the radio is literally “Love Does”.  If I happen to get a press release about his personal life, I’ll be sure to share (but don’t hold your breath, because I won’t!)

Fact #2–Mandisa and Brandon Heath are NOT, I repeat, NOT dating or getting married.  That whole thing was a hoax on the Wally Show several months ago, but apparently someone must have forgotten to tell everyone it was a joke.  I can say with 100% certainty that I saw Mandisa Skype about this being a totally untrue joke.  While Brandisa is one heck of a name for a superstar couple, alas, either Mandisa will have to find some other guy to date named Brandon or Brandon will have to find another girl named Mandisa for it to work.  (I’m guessing Mandisa may have more options than Brandon!  As far as I’m concerned there’s only one Mandisa 🙂  )

Fact #3–If you have time to e-mail me questions about Brandon’s love life that I don’t have any answers to, perhaps you should instead take up a hobby, like reading.  May I suggest you read the book Love Does by Bob Goff?  It’s a really good book.  (And no, I don’t know if Brandon has read it, but if I were to guess, I’d say he probably has.)

for King & Country Perform for Sold Out Crowd

Okay, so this is newsworthy to me for one reason—I got to see for King & Country first on Friday night at the WFRN Friend Fest!

Free parking.

Free bouncy houses.

$1.00 bottles of water.

Backstage passes for me and Alex because I’m a card carrying member of the media.

Yeah, from a fan perspective who really needs all the hoopla of a giant NASCAR Stadium anyway?  (If you couldn’t tell, I’m not a fan of racing.  In my opinion, NASCAR is not a real sport.  Basketball, baseball, and football are sports.  Sitting in a car driving around really fast in a big circle, not a sport.  Don’t even try to convince me, it has been done before and it has not worked nor will it ever.  Just sayin’.)

Just the same, how awesome that for King & Country was able to perform in front of 16,000 fans?!  (I’m sure it wasn’t quite the same as Friday since Alex wasn’t there, but you know, can’t win ’em all.  This is still quite an accomplishment!)

________________________________________________________________________________________

From Press Release:

FOR KING & COUNTRY PERFORMED BEFORE A SOLD-OUT CROWD AT

NEW LIFE 91.9 FM WRCM’S “FAITH, FAMILY AND FREEDOM CELEBRATION” AT

CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY ON SATURDAY NIGHT

fkc charlotte motor speedway

Nashville, TN – (June 25, 2013) – On Saturday night, for KING & COUNTRY took the stage at New Life 91.9 FM WRCM’s “Faith, Family and Freedom Celebration” at Charlotte Motor Speedway in front of an audience of over 16,000 fans. The celebration also featured performances by Building 429, Mandisa, Sanctus Real and Plumb. In addition, this weekend the band’s critically-acclaimed debut album, Crave, launched back into the Top 10 on the iTunes’ Christian Albums chart over 70 weeks after its initial release.

“We were thrilled to have for KING & COUNTRY as a key part of our Faith, Family & Freedom Celebration Saturday,” said Joe Paulo, Director of Broadcasting for New Life 91.9 WRCM. “Their energy and enthusiasm were contagious to the crowd and their music was incredible.  They were a perfect fit for this event!  Our social media outlets absolutely lit up with passionate comments about the band’s performance that night and for days afterward.  Most importantly, however, they effectively communicated the life-changing reality of Jesus Christ with the talents that He has given to them.”

Joel of for KING & COUNTRY added, “To stand alongside 15,000 fans shouting songs of hope on zMAX Dragway Saturday felt like a piece of heaven coming to earth.”

“Middle of Your Heart” is for KING & COUNTRY’s third single from their debut album, Crave, which was named iTunes “Breakthrough Christian & Gospel Album of 2012.” On June 1, the duo was named “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” at the first-ever K-LOVE Fan Awards. In addition, this past January, for KING & COUNTRY made their late night debut performing “The Proof of Your Love,” Amazon.com’s “Christian Music’s Song of the Year,” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, for KING & COUNTRY were named as one of Billboard’s 17 acts to watch and were CCM’s best-selling new artist. New Release Tuesday noted that Crave was “One of the Best Debut Projects in Years!” ET’s “The Insider” said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” American Songwriter commented that “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.”

About Word Entertainment

A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and online initiatives. Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, Point Of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group’s Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

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For more information please visit, www.forKINGandCOUNTRY.com / facebook.com/forkingandcountry / Follow:@ 4kingandcountry

Zumba With Mandisa

Imagine, if you will, the kind of crazy chaos that would go down if your local health club advertised a new Zumba class with the one and only Mandisa as the course instructor.

If I were to guess, such a class would sell out faster than any exercise class ever in the entire history of (wo)mankind.

I’m sorry to tell you that there is no Mandisa-led Zumba class that I’m aware of anywhere in the continental United States of America.  (There’s probably no such class in Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, or anywhere else, either.)

There is, however, a bit of good news for me to report in relationship to Mandisa & Zumba.  This morning Mandisa tweeted a YouTube video of herself leading a Zumba routine to her Zumba-tastic song, “Good Morning”.  As one would expect of a video starring Mandisa, it is awesome.

The best part about the Mandisa-Zumba-YouTube routine?  The grace/coordination challenged Mandisa fans of the world (ok, so I’m talking about me here) can now Zumba our little hearts out in the privacy of our own home.

Not only is Mandisa one of the most talented and beautiful people on the planet, she’s also pretty brilliant for coming up with this, too.

So, check it out below! (And, if you see an ambulance parked outside my house later, you’ll know why.)

Mandisa News!

One of my favorite ladies, Mandisa, has a busy day in store tomorrow, February 20th, 2013! First up, the multi-Grammy nominated sweetheart will be performing her hit song, ‘Stronger’ on Good Morning America in celebration of Robin Roberts triumphant return to the show after a near death battle with cancer. GMA had previously used ‘Stronger’ as an anthem of sorts during updates about Roberts’ progress following her bone marrow transplant treatment in 2012. This will not be Mandisa’s first time on GMA; in August 2012, Mandisa performed a rollicking rendition of the song ‘Good Morning’ from her latest album, ‘What If We Were Real’, along with Mr. tobyMac. Mandisa is set to sing ‘Stronger’ tomorrow during the 8 o’clock hour on Good Morning America (ABC).

Following her performance on GMA, Mandisa will head over to the popular daytime TV show, The Doctors, to discuss her weight loss journey with Dr. Travis Stork. (Anyone remember him from The Bachelor? I do!) According to my Mother, who unbeknownst to me until today is an AVID fan of The Doctors, the show is on NBC here in Fort Wayne at 9 am and 11 am.  Apparently, it is such a popular show here in Northeast Indiana that they need to air it twice daily.  If you aren’t fortunate enough to live in Indiana, you can find out where to tune in in your neck of the woods at The Doctors official website, http://www.thedoctorstv.com.

After her TV appearances, Mandisa will be jetting off on a 23 city 3 in 1 tour along with Brandon Heath and Laura Story.  I’m taking my sister and 7 year old niece to go see the show on April 12th in Indianapolis and can’t wait! (Side Note to my sister, Stacy–if you are reading this, you best act real surprised when you open the tickets for your birthday!)

If you want to practice singing along to ‘Stronger’ so you’ll be ready for both Mandisa’s appearance on GMA and her upcoming tour, check out the video below of her performing ‘Stronger’ live in studio.  (Okay, I have to write one more side note:  I love Mandisa SO much that I have even been known to sing AND dance along with her at her concerts.  I NEVER do that, which is a testament to the lovely and talented Mandisa’s spirited performances.  She’s a true Jesus loving gem!  Definitely check out her TV appearances tomorrow, and if you get the chance, go see her on tour this spring!)

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

Tuesday Tunes Playlist

Dear Readers:
I’ve received quite a few e-mails lately asking me about what my music playlist sounds like lately. Yes, I’m aware that I have been somewhat negligent in writing about music lately, and I do apologize for that.  So for fun today I thought I would post a Tuesday Tunes Playlist of what I have been listening to lately and what has been speaking to my heart. Enjoy!
#15—The Words I Would Say (Sidewalk Prophets)—Yep, I realize that this is kind of classic.  It’s by far the oldest song on this list. Lately, this song has been popping up in my life in weird places when I need a boost.  For instance, I was in a real foul mood at Gordon Food Service shopping for a picnic at church last weekend, and sandwiched in between songs by The Cure and Bon Jovi was ‘The Words I Would Say’.  Very strange, but in a good way.  It definitely brought a smile to my face and turned my attitude around in record time.
#14—Obsolete (Sara Groves)—I really like Sara Groves.  She has a haunting quality to her voice and the lyrics to her songs are just flat out brilliant.  This song just kind of hits my feelings on the head lately, and in a way that I don’t think even I could describe as well as Sara does in this song.  Highly recommended listening, along with the rest of the her album ‘Invisible Empires’.
#13—Redeemed (Big Daddy Weave)—This song just touches my heart every time I hear it, which fortunately is quite frequently as it’s getting a lot of radio play these days in my neck of the woods.  I think this may be my all-time favorite BDW song!
#12—Higher (Lecrae featuring Tenth Avenue North)—I have to admit, when I first saw this song listed on Lecrae’s newest album, Gravity, I did a double take.  Lecrae…and Tenth Avenue North?  How exactly would something like that work, anyway?  Well, let me say for the record it works quite beautifully.  Great song, I totally love it.  Further proof (at least to me) that Tenth Avenue North makes everything better!
#11—Gold (Britt Nicole)—There are a lot of really good songs on Britt Nicole’s latest project.  If I had to pick one, I’d say ‘Gold’ is one of my favorites.  Without fail, it brightens my day and gets me going no matter what else might be going on.
#10—Pushing on a Pull Door (For King & Country)—Yes, for those of you in the know, this is my theme song.  I have written an entire short story based upon inspiration derived from this song. Luckily, I haven’t actually been hanging upside down lately like I was in the story I shared, but I’ve definitely been pushing on some pull doors lately. 
#9—Good Morning (Mandisa featuring TobyMac)—Here’s a no fail recipe for a song that I will love:  Have Mandisa sing something positive and upbeat, and toss in some TobyMac for good measure.  Seriously, that’s a no fail recipe for a great song.  These two together are like peanut butter and jelly (well, that might not be the best example since I’m allergic to peanut butter). Anyway, I think you get the picture.
#8—For the First Time Again (Jason Gray)—I’ve just recently discovered Jason Gray, and I’m quickly becoming a fan.  This song really hit me the other day while I was driving along in my car, as it very accurately described a place in my life I’ve been feeling lately.  I’ve listened to it a lot in the time since then.  If you are feeling a little run down, I would recommend listening to this song for sure!
#7—Opposite Way (Leeland)—I had a strange experience with this song over the weekend.  Honestly, if I’ve listened to this song once, I’ve listened to it a hundred times  as I love the CD Opposite Way.  Yet, as I was driving along the highway on interstate I-469 on Sunday, Opposite Way came on the radio and it was as if I heard it for the first time.  I was struck by the lyrics, and I swear it was like I never really heard what was being said in this song before.  I would encourage you if you don’t have this CD to get it, or at the very least look up the lyrics to this song.   Beautiful, poignant, touching.  Definitely go check it out!
#6—All I see is You (Trevor Morgan)—I really like Trevor Morgan’s CD, The Blessed and the Broken. If you don’t have it, you should. It’s really, really good.  I’ve been listening to All I See Is You a lot lately, and it has become the prayerof my heart these last few weeks. Another highly recommended song, and CD.
#5—Angel By Your Side (Francesca Battistelli)—Her name maybe difficult to spell and kind of hard to say, but definitely worth the effort.  I love this song, as it has been both an encouragement and comfort to me lately. 
#4—Even If (Kutless)—I’m a longtime fan of Kutless, and as such I have to admit that their latest project “Believer” is one of my favorites.  What I like about Kutless is that they sing the truth.  They aren’t compelled to make everything tidy and neat, and they tend to cut straight to the heart of what really matters.  I really admire them for that.  Even If is one of those songs that is a brilliant amalgamation of hard truths amidst a unifying hope in the Lord.  For sure, if you haven’t yet, you’ll want to give this song a listen.
#3—Center of It (Chris August)—I posted a review on my blog awhile back about Chris August’s new CD, The Upside of Down.  It’s been in a continual state of replay since I got it back in August.  It was hard to pick just one song off of the album to include on this playlist, but I decided to go with Center of It because of the reminder it provides me that no matter what is going on in my life, God is in the center of it all.  Worth a listen (or a hundred!)
#2—Never (Hyland)—Okay, here’s my rant for today.  I think Hyland is one of most underrated groups in Christian music today.  They have some really great songs and I so enjoy listening to their CD, Weights and Measures.  They also have a single out called “Beauty in the Broken,” which I think is spectacular.   Their song, Never, is also a standout in my book.   The lyrics are so relatable and heartfelt that I find myself coming back to listen to this song over and over. 
#1—Banner of Love (Luminate)—This is such an awesome song it should be mandatory listening for everyone.  If everyone listened to this song, and then attempted to live by the lyrics, the world would no doubt be a more beautiful place.  Truthfully, if you haven’t heard this song yet, you need to listen to it and you’ll see why it’s my #1 pick on my playlist this week! 
And there you have it!  You can view pins of all of these videos on my Pinterest Board, Tuesday Tunes Playlist!
Much Love,
Beth