Archive for September, 2010

Proverbs 17:27

I was so mad, I could spit.

A coworker, who I thought had my back, publically embarrassed me. So when I got back to my office, I quickly pounded out a harsh email. Point by point I refuted all of the things he said about me.

Bad idea. Really Bad idea.

As soon as I hit “send”, conviction worked its way into my heart. The rest of the day was a waste. The Holy Spirit produced sorrow in my heart that exists even today.

The next day, I sheephishly ducked my head into the office of the guy I had verbally ripped the day before. I begged his forgiveness. We spent two hours talking that day and our friendship was healed.

But those words, those cutting, divisive words, had a devastating effect. I made a vow then that I keep to this day. I never, ever express my dissatisfaction with someone in an email. Why? Because an email is too easy, words are cheap when you’re safely hidden behind a computer screen. When you don’t have to look at the face of the person.

Proverbs says that a man of knowledge uses words “with restraint.” He is “even-tempered.”

Are you careful with the words you use? Are you do let them fly like verbal knockout punches?

Its too easy today to fire away a text, to add an angry comment, to let it all out on a blog post, facebook status, or on twitter. But words matter.

Are you wise? Use restraint with your words and you’ll avoid a lot of verbal sparring matches.

Daniel Darling is an author, pastor, and public speaker. His latest book is Crash Course, Forming a Faith Foundation for Life. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, follow on him on Twitter at twitter.com/dandarling, or check out his website: danieldarling.com.

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Owl City (who opened for John Mayer last night) is teaming up with the world’s largest online distributor TuneCore in a partnership designed to help developing artists

TuneCore has created a special website in collaboration with Owl City. Artists that choose to go through this website for distribution can have Owl City’s Adam Young listen to one “single” off their release. Adam will choose his favorite among all of the music submitted and provide a constructive critique of the song directly back with the artist. Adam will choose the artist and song on Dec. 1.

As always, through TuneCore, artists keep all of their rights and receive 100 percent of the revenue from the sale of their music on iTunes, Amazon, spotify, Mog and other digital music stores.

Artists that would like this opportunity need to go to: http://www.tunecore.com/owlcity

“Adam wrote and recorded his own music simply to let others hear it. He might not have had a label when he started, but he did have new entities like Facebook, MySpace, MP3 Blogs, YouTube, Twitter and TuneCore that allow any artist to get heard. From there his music spoke for itself and went on to connect with millions of music fans around the world. His willingness to reach out and help and guide other artists is above and beyond. It is truly an honor to be able to work with him,” said Jeff Price – Founder, CEO & President of TuneCore, in a press release.

From the ‘Burger with Relish: Music‘ Blog at The Salt Lake Tribune. David Burger is the pop music/pop culture writer at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Still sky high off the ascension of Rebel, his 2008 album, to the top of the Billboard Christian Albums chart, a first for any rapper, Lecrae, the world’s best selling faith-based hip-hop artist, refuses to let up. Encouraged even more by the unprecedented 75-plus weeks Rebel spent on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart, Lecrae has returned with Rehab, his fourth album. Scheduled for a fall release, with Rehab, Lecrae is even more focused than ever on spreading the gospel to even wider audiences.

Unlike so many hip-hop artists who have preceded him in both the Christian/Gospel and mainstream realms, Lecrae offers complex lyrics that give voice and provide thoughtful discourse about today’s challenges. Using his considerable skill for a higher purpose, Lecrae stretches beyond hip-hop’s limitations on both sides of the industry to reach a larger audience hungry for salvation. To that end, Lecrae employs energetic beats and inspired lyricism to meet listeners, saved and unsaved, where they are, addressing their skepticism while also advancing God’s love as the ultimate solution to their woes. As with his previous albums, Lecrae uses Rehab to push beyond stereotypes to capture a generation of believers who would otherwise be lost.

Featuring top-notch production that easily rivals most mainstream hip-hop offerings, Lecrae continues to use his skills for God, expanding his consistent and genuine message of love and redemption with Rehab. Executed with deep thought and reflection, with Rehab, Lecrae further demonstrates his ability to dissect the larger issues of the contemporary world while also reconciling living a righteous life in an often unrighteous world.

“I named it Rehab,” he says of the album’s title, “because I feel as if everyone is looking to find a sense of purpose and worth and value,” explains Lecrae. “We’re all kind of messed up. We all have issues and we all have addictions in one form or the other and I just look to point people to the answers through rehabilitation.”

Staying true to his mission of “giving people authentic, good music that really helps them out,” Lecrae avoids the self-righteous indignation that has prevented some Christians from spreading the gospel. Capturing people at their own crossroads, Lecrae favors “reality” raps that emphasize his own struggles and those of others in hopes of reaching those who are like he once was and “Used to Do It” featuring KB is one of his many vehicles.

Boasting a very musical track slightly reminiscent of the infectious rhythms of the timeless “Little Drummer Boy” that literally defies one to remain still, “Used to Do It” makes clear that both rappers have been where many of their listeners are. “I used to do it too” repeats incessantly throughout the song as the lyrics subtly reveal how finding Jesus transformed each rapper’s life. Alternating lyrics like “now I’m something different” and “saved from my own sins” with “I’m changed” that make up parts of the hook don’t thrive off of preaching, but, rather, peer-to-peer reaching.

By delving deep into the bowels of temptation, “Killa” hits harder. “I know it’s gone kill me/But I just can’t let it go/And it tastes so appealing/It’s got a grip upon my soul” begin the lyrics after several “killa” chants over a sinewy, contemporary track. The brooding production augments the high drama as other lyrics like “sipping on seduction while we eating on some secret sin” and “evil look so lovely covered in her lace of lies” further emphasize how formidable the obstacles along the road to righteousness truly are.

On “Children of the Light,” a collaboration with Christian metal group P.O.D. singer Sonny Sandoval that’s one of Lecrae’s favorite songs on Rehab, a strong guitar riff helps to kick off the track just before the heavy drums thunder in. “We are children of the light/Royal rulers of the day/Saints over the streets of the night/Because only love can lead the way.” Very musically diverse, with an infectious feel that’s a guaranteed chart-topper, “Children of the Light,” which even incorporates reggae, promises a broad appeal that’s sure to be an anthem for Christians of all musical persuasions.

Lecrae spits new verse from ‘REHAB’ (@rapzilla @lecrae @reachrecords)
Lecrae spits a new verse from his upcoming album ‘REHAB’. In stores 9.28.10 http://bit.ly/LecraeREHABVerse

Poised to surpass Rebel, Rehab continues to mesh stellar and artistically inspired production with a purposeful message intended to captivate and steer today’s mislead generation towards salvation. Free of the extremely negative messages that permeate much of contemporary hip-hop but infused with the energy that makes the music so alluring, Lecrae is sure to extend his reign as the world’s leading faith-based hip-hop artist with Rehab.

Born in Texas and raised largely there, with stints in several cities, including San Diego, by a single mother, the Atlanta-based Lecrae, emerged on the music scene in 2005 with Real Talk on Reach Records, the label he co-founded. Well-received, the album peaked at #29 on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart. His 2006 follow-up After the Music Stops reached #5 on the same chart, even landing at #7 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart and #16 on the Billboard Heatseeker Albums Chart. Rebel, his third and most successful album to date released in 2008, topped the Billboard Christian Albums Chart for two weeks, becoming the first rap album to do so. In addition, Rebel spent more than 75 weeks on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart. A critical and commercial hit, Lecrae has received three GMA Dove Award nominations, the industry’s highest honor and even won a Gospel Music Channel award for Best Hip-Hop Video.

For more information on Lecrae, please visit lecrae.com or contact Bradley Tomlinson at 404-775-8053

Contact: Bradley Tomlinson, 404-775-8053, bradley@reachrecords.com

Trip Lee: The Chart-Topping Rapper Unafraid of Words Like Eschatological

With the exception of pop rapper Toby Mac American Christian radio has for decades shown a woeful disinclination to put hip-hop on its playlists. Gospel hip-hop has existed and even grown in quality and quantity but as an underground devoid of much, if any, radio support. Now, at long, long last, the sleepy gatekeepers of both CCM (white) and gospel (black) radio stations are awakening from their decades’ long slumber. Leading the charge in confronting US radio’s long entrenched prejudices is Philadelphia-based 22 year old rapper Trip Lee. His third album ‘Between Two Worlds’ made a bit of record industry history recently being the first ever hip-hop album to debut at number one on both Billboard’s Christian and Gospel charts.

Trip told broadcaster Mike Rimmer how his ‘Between Two Worlds’ differed from his second, 2008 release ’20/20′. “The last one was devoted to helping people to see God properly, talking about who God is from the Scriptures and see him clearly; this one is helping people see life properly, in light of who God is. So it’s different in terms of the content, and I wanted it to be an album that could reach a broad span of people. It dealt with things that every single person deals with. Soundwise, it’s more musical than the past albums, more live instrumentation, more strings, a little bit less synths. I think we did some really cool things musically, and I think the Lord really graced it.”

Like previous projects ‘Between Two Worlds’ was made in Philadelphia. Said the MC, “I recorded the first half, mostly, with DJ Essence, who’s part of Lamp Mode Recordings. Towards the end of the album, I actually recorded most of it at my house, in my basement, and I recorded it myself, on Pro Tools – bought a bunch of gear, and it made the end of the process a lot easier for me. It opened me up to be more creative: record whenever I wanted to, try whatever kind of weird stuff I wanted to.”

Trip was asked where the ideas for the subjects of his raps came from. “Some of them come from conversations with people after the show. Some of them just come from conversations with people who have nothing to do with the music, but you say, ‘I do want this to be able to mean something for them’. You talk to people, you hear them talk through certain issues, and you say, ‘I really want this song to be able to reach those kinds of people, encourage those kind of people’. So it does come largely out of conversations with people – people that you’ve met, that you haven’t met yet – even just seeing what’s happening in the culture at large, I want to address those issues. All those things come into play.”

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Tony Cummings is the music editor for Cross Rhythms website and attends Grace Church in Stoke-on-Trent.

If you have Explorer, you probably signed on a few hours ago and were greeted by this headline on MSN.com: “The Seven Deadly Sins of Life.” And for a split second maybe you wondered: Is this a religious message? Are they talking about my life?

But then it went on:

Lust, pride, greed, envy, wrath, gluttony & sloth: See which celebs have sinned. Read about home-wrecking stars, money-hungry CEOs, boastful athletes & more.

On it went in that vein. (“Celebrity cheaters old & new, from Liz ‘n’ Dick to Brangelina. Who are they?” Click here and find out!)

And you realized that this wasn’t much of a call to turn from sin in your own life. It was mainly an invitation to wallow in the sins of others, who (by remarkable coincidence) happened to be rich, famous and pretty.

Not that you weren’t allowed to disapprove of them. In fact, you were invited to do that too. After all, the pleasure of reviling celebrities and feeling superior to them keeps you clicking. Adore ’em or abhor ’em, you make someone money with every click.

Click here to continue reading.

The time between the home of your youth and the home you’ll make for yourself someday is a time of adventure, discovery and excitement; but also loneliness, longing and uncertainty. From college to career to relationships, we at Boundless want to cast a vibrant vision for the single years, helping you navigate this season while preparing for the challenges and responsibilities of the one to come. That requires living intentionally with purpose by bringing your gifts, talents and Christian worldview to bear on your whole life. Through Boundless Webzine, The Boundless Line blog, and The Boundless Show podcast, we’re here to help you enjoy the journey.