Food for the Soul
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Posted 10/10/11 at 1:53 PM |

Dad changes his family tree with music

The Partridge Family may have had the multi-colored bus, but the Frye Family Band opted for blue silos near their Indiana home instead. Though the former was a contrived Hollywood family band, the latter is the real deal, and the imagery on their new CD, Under Indiana Lights, reflects dad Tom's desire to change his own family tree.

As a young boy, Tom Frye grew up in an unstable household. His parents argued constantly and filed for divorce several times, but never followed through. Tension was part of daily life for young Tom, but he found solace from his bedroom window.

"I could look out my window and see three blue silos on a farm a mile away," says Tom. "I didn't know the people there, but blue has always been my favorite color, and the silos always seemed to have a calming effect on me, sort of an oasis. I remember wondering if life was normal there. My only two escapes seemed to be the blue silos and my hour with the Waltons, which helped me get a glimpse of what a family that loved each other looked like. Walking on egg shells was a normal and ever escalating part of life. I look back now and realize that I was always the peacemaker, thinking that if I could just work harder, or be better that I could fix my parents' problems. Of course, my efforts always fell short." FULL POST

Posted 9/22/11 at 10:56 AM |

Xerox executive believes the answer to employment crisis lies in the Bible

New book outlines strategies to integrate Christian faith into the workplace

In a time when jobs are in short supply, Vice-president of Client Operations for the Xerox Corporation, Gary Blackard, has just released a book that advocates the Bible as the best guide available for both employees and business owners to survive and thrive in a competitive job market. Entitled Relevance in the Workplace: Using the Bible to impact your job (Intermedia), the book covers many areas related to business and employment success, using the Bible as the main resource. As a long-time executive for Xerox, Blackard has over 20 years experience working with Fortune 100 companies across the globe, and is founder of Eagle Peak Leadership, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping business leaders in the U.S. and abroad integrate faith into their workplace.

"This is not a book just for leaders," says Blackard. "This is a book that will help anyone who is employed become better at their jobs and teach them to use the principles of the Bible in every day interactions and decision-making. If Christians work by the same principles they profess to believe, they can become indispensable to their employers. And likewise, when business owners apply those same principles, their businesses will have a greater chance of growing even in a down economy." FULL POST

Posted 9/22/11 at 10:52 AM |

Prayer gathering event exceeds expectation

Acts 413 Ministries seeks to help pastors and church leaders through various programs

Acts 413 Ministries held their first prayer gathering event in Philadelphia on Friday, August 20 and exceeded all their expectations. Nearly 3000 church leaders, staff and members attended the event, featuring speaker Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle. Jim Maxim, founder of Acts 413 and author of the new Whitaker House book, Face to Face with God, says the response shows the intense hunger the church has for prayer.

"We had pastors and leaders from every denomination in attendance," says Maxim. "We had to open up an extra room at the convention center to accommodate the people. It shows us that God's shepherds are hungry for revival and to pray for, and with, one another."

Acts 413 Ministries was formed by Maxim to "serve God's servants" through prayer and discreet ministerial support. Maxim, a successful businessman in the automotive industry, has felt a burden for many years to offer help to church pastors and their staffs. Recent statistics on pastors are alarming: FULL POST

Posted 6/17/11 at 10:12 AM |

Author Jim Maxim describes afterlife experience following near-fatal car crash

Author Jim Maxim does not doubt the existence of hell. He saw it up close. At only eighteen years of age, drugs and alcohol had nearly destroyed him. His young life was spiraling out of control at a rapid pace. But one December night would change his life forever when a near-fatal car crash shattered Jim's face and head. Laying in critical condition in the hospital, Jim was confronted by the personal demons that plagued his life and then found himself face-to-face with Jesus.

Releasing July 5 from Whitaker House publishers, Face to Face with God is the true story of a life restored and redeemed from addiction, self-destruction and rebellion. "I wrote this book for people like the old me who may feel like 'lost causes,'" Maxim said. "I'm living proof God answers prayer, and that absolutely no one is beyond His reach."

Now a successful Philadelphia businessman, husband, father and grandfather, Maxim has dedicated his life to sharing the love and power of Jesus he found at the lowest point in his life. For years he has worked one-on-one with those who can relate to his story, actively volunteering for a variety of inner-city ministries with his wife, Cathy. He and Cathy also founded of Acts413, a ministry dedicated to encouraging Christian pastors and leaders through prayer and discreet ministerial support to those that serve as shepherds to God's people. FULL POST

Posted 5/10/11 at 11:19 AM |

New Book releases from popular Conference Speaker

Conference speaker and recording artist Shannon Perry has released her first book entitled Grace in High Heels: Real-life Reflections of Humor, Hope & Healing. Based in part on material from her original women's conference "If the Shoe Fits," the book includes true stories from Perry's life, reflecting on various issues such as being single, motherhood, marriage, finding purpose and many other topics that are divided into four sections: "Goody Two Shoes," "Is there a Hole in your Sole?," "Lacing up the Tongue," "Walk a Mile in my Shoes." "The ladies in my conferences kept asking me when I was going to write a book," says Perry. "I always enjoyed Barbara Johnson's style of writing, mixing humor with scriptural truths. That's what I try to do in my conferences when I share some of the crazy things that have happened in my life, and I hope those stories translated to the printed page. More than anything, I wanted to make sure the book was biblically-accurate along with being funny and engaging." FULL POST

Posted 5/10/11 at 11:14 AM |

Avoiding Empty Nest Syndrome as Graduation Draws Near

As graduation day approaches for high school and college students alike, parents must deal with the "empty nest syndrome" that accompanies a child leaving home. Empty Nest Syndrome has been recognized by the psychological community as feelings of depression, sadness, and/or grief experienced by parents and caregivers after children come of age and leave their childhood homes. Licensed family counselor and author Jay Fitter says the devastation to parents is very real, but can be dealt with by implementing a few proactive measures.

In his book "Respect your Children: A Practical Guide to Effective Parenting," Fitter lays out some specific techniques that help parents deal with the empty nest transition. "Try changing your perspective," says Fitter. "Look at your empty nest as a new opportunity or the next chapter of your life. See this as an opportunity to try something you've always been interested in learning, but too busy to start."

Fitter says parents who pursue their own lives apart from their children are more equipped to cope once the children leave. Having close friendships, prioritizing alone time with their mate, and getting involved in community groups are a few simple and effective ways to expand relationships beyond children. Fitter says that many parents make the mistake of living vicariously through their kids to escape the pressures of their own lives or unresolved personal issues. FULL POST

Posted 12/9/10 at 12:49 PM |

Debut CD finding early success with bonus track

The debut national recording, Beautiful Design, from worship leader/songwriter Jason Bare releases January 18, 2011, but the CD is already gaining major airplay thanks to the CD’s bonus Christmas track.  The song, “For the First Time,” co-written by Bare and former Plus One member Nathan Walters, has been added to KLOVE stations, the American Family Radio network as well as numerous other stations across the U.S.  Additionally, the song is being played at all 1700 Chick-Fil-A restaurants as well as over 100 Carmax locations.

“We’ve been getting great response from radio programmers,” says Bare.  “’For the First Time’ came about as I wondered what it must have been like to have been in Mary and Joseph's shoes and be the first eyes to ever behold God Himself in the form of a child.  It was life-changing moment for them and for all mankind.”

Beautiful Design is produced by Loren Barton (Felicia Barton, Coko) and Walters, who produced the Christmas song as well as one other song on the 11-track CD.  Bare grew up a pastor’s kid and attended Lee University where he traveled with the renowned Lee Singers.  He has been a worship leader for over fourteen years and a sought-after clinician for various worship conferences including the annual Throne Zone conferences. FULL POST

Posted 12/9/10 at 12:45 PM |

Annual Worship Conference announces featured Clinicians and Performers

Singer/songwriter/worship leader Jennifer Shaw will be featured at the 2nd Annual Worship 4:24 Conference to be held at Cedarville University in Cedarville, Ohio on January 28-29, 2011 (www.worship424.com).  Co-sponsored by the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio and Cedarville University Department of Music and Worship, this conference is designed to equip worship leaders, musicians, band, praise team, and tech crews to be effective leaders.

Shaw will share the stage for the opening concert with Lenny LeBlanc, who is serving as the keynote speaker for the event.  LeBlanc rode the crest of success as half of the popular duo LeBlanc & Carr. To this day their smash hit song "Falling" remains in the record books as one of the most popular singles ever, attaining the rare feat of being named a BMI Millionare song, indicating one million radio plays, and was named one of Billboard Magazine’s all-time favorite Top 40 hits.  After his conversion to Christianity, LeBlanc entered the contemporary Christian music realm where he released seven solo projects, achieving more than a dozen top 10 radio singles. His involvement with the Maranatha Praise Band and as worship leader on Integrity Hosanna's 'Pure Heart'  brought him further recognition, as well as writing popular songs such as the Dove Award-winning “Above All” worship standard. FULL POST

Posted 12/6/10 at 2:10 PM |

Popular Women's Events Expand Overseas

"Girls Night Out,” a women's event originating in Canada, has expanded their events intothe United Kingdom and New Zealand.  The first event was held in the U.K.in September and plans are to do another twenty eventsin 2011. In the United States, Girls Night Out” is hosting eventsin eight different states in the coming months. “GirlsNight Out” has surpassed over 200 events worldwide since its inception fiveyears ago.

In addition to their overseas expansion, the company istouring “Couples Night Out” in Canada.  Like its counterpart, “CouplesNight Out” is held in community host churches of all sizes.  Hostchurches are not charged any fees or promotional expenses, making it virtuallyfree to any church willing to open its doors totheir community. And at only a $5.00 per ticket, these events are alsoextremely affordable to budget-minded consumers.

"All these events are great evenings of fun, faithand fellowship for everyone,” says Mary Messina, Program Manager of “GirlsNight Out” in the US.  “Our events are not bible studies orweekend retreats and we are not trying to compete with big conventions. We have made these events scalable for local churches to get involved. We also know that 40-60% of people attending our events come fromchurches other than the host church and nearly 10% are unchurched, making thesegreat events for outreach.” FULL POST

Posted 9/29/10 at 1:44 PM |

Popular Women’s Events Offer Churches Outreach Opportunities Free of Charge

In less than five years, a women’s event in Canada has quietly become one of the most successful Christian tours in the country. With over 170 dates and tens of thousands of attendees under their belt, “Girls Night Out” (GNO) believes they can make an even bigger impact in the United States as cash-strapped churches look for new ways to continue outreach efforts in their communities. Part of their appeal is that “Girls Night Out” events do not charge host churches any fees or promotional expenses, making it completely free to any church willing to open its doors. And at only a $5.00 per ticket, it is also extremely affordable to budget-minded consumers.

“‘Girls Night Out’ events offer something that will help local churches reach out to their communities,” says Anne Bruce, Strategic Relationship Partner with FaithLife Financial and co-sponsor of the GNO events. “These events can fill a void for congregations while engaging women with humor and inspiring them with hope. We have found that nearly 60% of our attendees come from churches or denominations other than the host church and that nearly 10% of women who attend are un-churched. These evenings are all about faith, fun and fellowship and we have seen enormous outreach opportunities emerge.” FULL POST

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