Free Downloads Extended!

18 Aug

Back by popular demand! We’ve extended the Free Downloads offer until the end of this month (aka August 31, 2014) so be sure to take advantage of it!

We also wanted to let you know that our Pear sponsorship was successfully submitted and we will be receiving these new t-shirts very soon. More info to be announced!

In the meantime, sign up for our mailing list so you can be in the know – it’s a great way to stay connected and hear news from us as soon as they’re announced. You can sign up here.

Pear T-Shirt Sponsorship

25 Jul

Much of what we do is our music but we love boldly advertising Jesus with our t-shirts. If you’ve been with us from the beginning, you’ve seen our past designs. We enjoy creating shirts that can potentially spark a conversation about “Shameless Plug” but our end goal is that they hopefully lead to a conversation about Jesus.

We would appreciate your help taking part in a simple & FREE process in making our new t-shirt. Just by doing some simple social media steps on Pear, our sponsor Apartments.com will support our new shirt design. The best part is that it’s completely free for you, only 6 steps, and helps us a ton! Check out the sponsorship here. With 7 days remaining, each entry can potentially raise $10 towards our goal. Your support would mean so much to us! Thank you all!

https://www.pearup.com/shamelessplug

1,000 Likes!

23 Jul

We’re celebrating our 1,000 Facebook Likes milestone! Thank you all for being a part of this with us. Join the celebration with free downloads of our remix with any order in the Store!

Be sure to keep up with us on all our favorite social media outlets: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

The Father Heart Of God

16 Jul

You and I have probably read or heard of “The Parable Of The Prodigal Son” more times than we can count. You may even know it as “The Parable Of The Lost Son”. For some reason, every time I hear a pastor preach on this story, it shines a new light on it every single time. If this is your first time hearing about it, please feel free to first read Luke 15:11-32 for some context.

You might think that “prodigal” could mean “lost” because in the parable the younger son loses his way, demands for his share of the inheritance before his father’s death, squanders it, and finally realizes his wrongs & comes home. But “prodigal” is actually defined as wasteful, extravagant, recklessly spending…

Recently we led worship at the Cornerstone Church Retreat, where YWAM speaker Rev. Joe Ferrante spoke on “The Father Heart Of God”. A couple of questions he asked that weekend were: How do you view God’s heart for your life? Do you believe that He really is good and that you are good enough for His love?

From time to time, we might feel like the younger son – thinking “I’ve got this”, ignoring God the Father, and wasting it all away on things we think we’ve got a handle on. Maybe you’ve actually done this in real life with your own parent(s). But as you know, life isn’t perfect… we aren’t perfect. Even Jesus said that in this world we’ll have trouble (John 16:33)! So why do we run away from God our Father and think that we don’t need His love and support?

Lately I’ve come to re-realize that the Father heart of God is as extravagant, as extreme, as prodigal as the younger son… but in the best sense possible! But to draw an even better picture, Jesus continues the story: the younger son comes home to beg for his father’s forgiveness. Yet the father, who was waiting for his son to return, sees him from a distance and runs to embrace him. I’m sure the son was surprised – I know I would be! But he says, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

The father’s response? “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Not only does the father take him back… he throws a feast! If you were the older son at this point you’d probably be thinking as he does, “Hey… what’s this? Where’s my feast?”… But Rev. Joe Ferrante puts it very nicely here: The party may not necessarily have been for the younger son, but for the father. That’s how extravagant God’s love is for us. That’s how much and how long He’s been waiting for us to come to our senses and come home too. That’s how lavishly He wants to waste it all on you and me.

To even throw a party for the one who’s messed up so badly in life… wow. But you know, He gets it. Life’s tough and stuff happens. He gets it. Just as the father killed the fattened calf for the returned son, our Father sacrificed the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, so that those who see this sign of God’s perfect love would come home and realize the true heart of the Father.

No matter how badly or carelessly you’ve handled things, God is waiting for you to return… maybe even for the first time. You might not think you’re worth it, but He does! God searches our hearts and knows us (Psalm 139). He is good all the time, even when you don’t feel like you’re good enough for His love. Wherever you’re at today, I pray that you would experience an extravagant love from the Father like no other.

Reflection Song: Here Today

Happy Birthday! Free Downloads!

14 Jul

With all that’s been going on recently, we completely forgot to wish our own Robin & Andy a very happy birthday! Just like last year, we want to give you all something special this month. Until August 14th, every order will get a free download of our recent single “Unending Praise (Young Weather Remix)“!

If you place an order between now and 8/14/14, we’ll include one of these (physical card if you order something mailed, or download code if you order something digital):

New Songs In Church

2 Jul

“Of course he’s doing his songs…” is what some may be suggesting when you use your own songs in church. But more on that in a little bit.

We’ve heard it many times before from Psalm 96: “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth”, which could refer to spontaneous times of worship or, for the purpose of this post, a new song you and your team have planned. For example, you’ve heard the new Passion or Hillsong album and you want to try the title track on a Sunday… what do you do?

When I select songs, I’m very intentional. What I mean by that is I make sure I’m not slapping together any 4 songs together as an “emergency setlist”. In fact, I often prepare setlists weeks in advance. This may come as a surprise to some of you, while for others it may be the norm already. But introducing new songs is the same deal: we don’t want to impulsively throw a new song at our congregation or even our team. It takes planning! In addition to our older post What Kind Of Songs Do You Pick?, here are a few thoughts when it comes to new songs:

  1. Listen to the song carefully. How easy is it for your average congregation to learn the melody? How many times would you need to “introduce” it before it’s more naturally sung? When we introduce a new song at our church, we use it about 3-4 times within 2 months (which may even involve back-to-back Sundays) before including it in our regular rotation of songs.
  2. In a given year, I only allow a handful of new songs. That means I may not even get to the latest single by “So-and-so Worship Artist” because I don’t want to overwhelm the church with too many new songs at once.
  3. If you plan on introducing a new song, always take a closer look at the lyrics and even ask your worship pastor (if you have one, or another one of your pastors) if it is scripturally sound.
  4. What other songs are you including when you lead this new song? Make sure that you are surrounding it with more recognizable songs to balance the familiarity of songs and flow of worship.
  5. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, notify your team in advance! The only thing that makes teaching a new song harder is a band that doesn’t completely know the song either. Imagine if you were out in the pews trying to learn the song but the lead vocalist is unsure of the melody… or the words on the screen don’t match… These factors make your job that much more difficult.
  6. Added bonus: if the song in question is played frequently on the radio and your church has some avid Star 99.1 / KLOVE / etc. listeners, then half the battle is won!

Once the new song is in place, feel out how the congregation is responding to this song to determine if it works (or will continue to work) in your church.

Now onto originals…

If you write your own songs, like we do, you may feel led to introduce some of them in church. This is where you really need to get objective and answer the same questions as unbiased as possible! With the songs that you write, do they fit in Sunday worship context? And feel free to check out other factors in What Kind Of Songs Do You Pick?.

We want to be careful that we don’t come across as “self-promoting” because that shouldn’t be the reason why we’re writing these worship songs in the first place. We’re not worship leaders to promote ourselves, but to promote Christ. And if we’re called to be worship leaders, we ought to be leading both on and off the stage. If we’re leading both on and off the stage, then your fellow brothers & sisters in Christ will probably be eager to learn something new with you!

For us, we generally use our songs if: A) it fits a sermon topic or theme for that particular day/event or B) if the song was birthed out of something we experienced together as a church. If you can relate to B, then that’s great! That means it’s not so much “my song” (you, the writer) but “our song” (us, the church)!

It’s easier said than done, for sure. You’ll find that you like these new songs, while your drummer will like those new songs, etc. But it goes back to what we wrote in our previous post: it’s important that as leaders we lead intentionally – this stems from the very beginning when we select the songs to how we decide to actually lead and connect these songs. Let’s be intentional and humble in all these processes. We’re merely the vessel for these songs to be led & sung in worship by the church to our Lord Jesus Christ!

Don’t Be Left Out!

24 Jun

Don’t be left out! We are officially running low on our current “Snellen Chart” t-shirts (can you read what it says?). Only a few left in each size/color (medium in navy sold out) so head over to our Store to place an order, or visit our next event’s merch table!

What kind of design/colors would you like to see for our next shirt?

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