Food for the Soul
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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

Posted 5/14/10 at 12:40 PM |

Family TV Movie Takes #1 Spot "Vote With Your Remote" Campaign drives Secrets of the Mountain success and fuels DVD sales

(Nashville, TN) --The highly-touted "family" TV movie, Secrets of the Mountain, captured the number one spot in its time slot with over 7.4 million viewers on Friday April 16. A nationwide "Vote With Your Remote" grass roots campaign helped Secrets trump Ghost Whisperer (4.4 million viewers), and is now driving robust Secrets DVD sales, demonstrating the huge audience appeal for quality family entertainment.

"A clear message has been sent," said Secrets executive producer, Ben Simon. "American families want more high-quality programming that they can enjoy together. We've heard their voice, and more great family movies are on the way."

Secrets of the Mountain is the first in a series of movies that the world's biggest retailer, Walmart, and the world's largest consumer products maker, Procter & Gamble (P&G), have partnered to produce. FULL POST

Posted 4/16/10 at 3:07 PM |

A New Normal One Mom's Experience with Sensory Integration Dysfunction

April is National Autism Awareness Month. Sensory Integration Dysfunction is closely associated with autism in that many autistic children have some form of SID. To date, the medical community is unclear of the exact connection. SID is also often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD. The following is an editorial from singer/speaker Jennifer Shaw:

I was the mother of two beautiful girls and was thrilled to add a son to our family. After a difficult and dangerous pregnancy, we were especially thankful that our baby boy, who we named Toby, was born healthy. He seemed to be a very unhappy baby compared to our girls, but we hoped he would grow out of it.

The first indication that something was out of the ordinary was when we could not get him to eat any food. I nursed him without a problem, but when we introduced baby foods, it was a daily struggle that we lost. We also noticed that he never babbled or made any sounds and he rarely smiled. Eventually it was clear that he was very speech-delayed, but because he had suffered from repeat ear infections which caused clinical deafness during his first year, we attributed a lot of his mood to pain and hoped that when his hearing improved, his speech would come along. After surgery on his ears, his hearing did get better and his infections went away, but he still did not make any sounds. FULL POST

Posted 3/15/10 at 2:47 PM |

DISCOVERY HOUSE MUSIC RELEASES FOURTH SOLO PROJECT FROM POPULAR SINGER/SONGWRITER

Discovery House Music will release the fourth solo recording from singer/songwriter Shannon Wexelberg on March 16, 2010. The CD entitled I Have A Song is an enhanced CD that features printable PDF files of each of the eleven songs, making it easier for church bands and choir directors to incorporate the music into their worship services. Additionally, the "Day of Discovery" television show will be filming a special with Wexelberg at the end of April to be broadcast at a later date. The "Day of Discovery" broadcast is now in its 41st season and currently airs every Sunday morning on the ION television network, satellite tv, and dozens of independent stations in the U.S. and Canada.

Wexelberg has written or performed several top 10 national radio singles in the course of her career. The first single from the new CD will be the title cut which Wexelberg says was inspired by an obscure prophet in the Bible.

"The title song was actually inspired by the third chapter of the book of Habakkuk," says Shannon. "I have an idea of how Habakkuk felt in those verses. Less than a year ago, our lives were in utter turmoil --from jobs, to where we were going to live, to the direction of our future. In the natural I had every reason to be sad, disappointed, frustrated and discouraged." FULL POST

Posted 3/15/10 at 2:43 PM |

New Children's CD Will Benefit Charity for Teen Mothers

Blue Myrtle Kids Records, a division of StrongTree Productions, is releasing its first children's CD entitled Big Green Alligator by La-La Lisa. Acoustic folk/pop artist Lisa Weyerhaeuser (a.k.a "La-La Lisa") wrote and performed all eighteen songs on the project, and has dedicated a portion of the proceeds of the sales of the CD to Teen Mother Choices International.

Teen Mother Choices International (www.TMCINT.org) is a unique charity that utilizes volunteers from local area churches to help provide teen mothers with a support system. The program offers things such as childcare so the young mothers can return to school, caring mentors who provide emotional support, and Life Skills Workshops which equip teenage mothers with resources and information to help them become independent functioning members of society. Weyerhaeuser served as a past board member of the organization and has witnessed first-hand the impact the program has had on teen mothers. One of the goals of Teen Mothers Choices is to keep all the girls off of welfare and to date, 100% of the girls who have participated in the program have graduated from school and found jobs to support themselves. FULL POST

Posted 1/27/10 at 10:15 AM |

Song from New CD to be Featured at National Conference and as part of Special Project

Two songs from the new CD LOVE BROKE THROUGH by singer/songwriter Jennifer Shaw have already received national attention. The CD's first radio single, "Your Great Name," rose to the top 3 of the CMW Worship charts. Additionally, the song "God Loved The World, "co-penned by Shaw, her producer Paul Marino and writer Jeremy Johnson, has been chosen as the featured song at the Evangelical Covenant Church conference. The song will be taught and distributed to over 1000 pastors, music ministers and church leaders attending the mid-winter conference this month in Denver. The Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) is a multi-ethnic denomination of over 700 churches in the United States and Canada with ministries on five continents of the world.

Additionally, LifeWay Christian Resources, one of the world's largest providers of Christian products and services, will be using the song "God Loved the World" as part of their 2010 Christmas musical entitled The Journey. Shaw's producer, Paul Marino, is a long-time LifeWay songwriter and producer.

"I'm very excited about how 'God Loved the World' is already making an impact," says Shaw. "I'm so proud of this song because it shares the completeness of the Gospel. It has become an instant favorite in our concerts." FULL POST

Posted 1/25/10 at 1:18 PM |

Maine-based Rockers Set to Release New CD in 2010

Chosen Records' recording artist The Wrecking admits it will be hard to top the whirlwind year they have had in 2009. But as the band readies itself to release its second nationally-distributed CD in the coming months, the Portland Maine-based rockers hope to build on the momentum.

"We're hungry and we aren't satisfied with the way things are in ourselves, in our music or in the world." says lead singer Doug Elder. "We feel like we have a burden to get these songs, sounds and stories off our chests, and nothing but aggressive forward motion will suffice."

While their debut cd, A New Abolition, and their new EP, The Catalyst have both received rave reviews, the band has also been recognized for several successful music videos. They received a recent nomination for Best Pop Video by the Gospel Music Channel, and their cover version of U2's "Get On Your Boots" was named as one of the Top 50 Music Videos on YouTube. FULL POST

Posted 1/25/10 at 1:09 PM |

Facing the New Year Alone: Practical Advice for Widows & Widowers

Written by Beth Chilcoat

As I approach the beginning of a new year, I reflect on the fact that it has been over three years since I faced the trauma of losing my beloved husband of 37 years to Lou Gehrig's Disease. After this length of time, one might assume that I am finally feeling better. But to be honest, the grief journey has been both relentless and painfully difficult. I don't ever again want to hear the advice that "you should just get through the first year and you'll be fine." It simply didn't happen that way and as I have polled others in similar situations, they have said the same. But I have learned many things as I have walked this unwelcome journey. For those people who are facing 2010 alone, I offer some observations about the grieving process.

Be gentle with yourself. Say no to things that are going to be overwhelming to you such as uncomfortable invitations or demanding tasks, but at the same time, don't hide. Be with those whose company you enjoy and who can understand your situation. Don't sit back and wait for life to happen, but give yourself a lot of latitude. I attended my grandchildren's soccer games because it got me out of the house but demanded very little emotionally. People there weren't asking me a lot of questions about how I was doing. I took really long bike rides (that's a passion for me), and sometimes when I just needed to get out, I would go for long drives, occasionally antiquing. Do not be afraid to take time to do things you enjoy.

Stay connected. Take the initiative in getting together with others. Grief groups were helpful since we were sharing the same daunting adjustments in our lives. The world revolves around pairs, and it can make you feel very alone. Groups became a good source of friendships with people who knew what I was going through. Don't try to be noble or do it on your own. Don't be afraid to draw strength from friends, family, and church. FULL POST

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