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A New Hallelujah

Michael W. Smith marks 25 years in Christian music.

This month Michael W. Smith releases his 21st album in 25 years. Though he is well-known for contemporary songs such as “Friends” and “Place in This World,” the pioneering musician continues to explore worship in A New Hallelujah, which was recorded live at Lakewood Church in Houston. Backed by a 250-member choir, Smith sings familiar worship songs such as “I Surrender All” and “Mighty to Save” as well as original cuts including “The River Is Rising.” Smith is joined by the African Children’s Choir and worship leaders Israel Houghton and Coalo Zamorano, who he says “elevated the songs to amazing moments of praise and worship. It was more than I could have hoped for.”

—Leigh DeVore


Prayer Point

This month Christians around the world will gather in prayer for Israel as participants in the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem on Oct. 5. We invite you to join us in praying that:

  • Peace is upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem (see Ps. 122:6) 

  • God uses Israel’s political and judicial processes to help bring justice and peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (see Is. 33:5)
  • God protects Israel from foreign nations that have threatened to annihilate the Jewish people (see Is. 45:17)

Servant Evangelism

Instead of protesting Democrats’ platform on abortion or gay rights, Denver Christians opted to serve delegates at the Democratic National Convention and spend the week in prayer and worship for the nation’s future. Calling itself One Church Metro Denver, the coalition of more than 60 churches distributed maps and water and helped keep the area clean. Reece Bowling, senior pastor of Orchard Road Christian Center and one of the group’s leaders, says the coalition is “not against promoting issues that we feel are consistent with the Christian message. But the Christian message is not about issues; it’s about loving people the way Christ teaches us to love people.”

—Felicia Mann


Discipleship

A Design to Shine

Christina DiMari was just 7 years old when she first ran away from her San Francisco home. She would flee another 100 times before reaching adulthood. But after years of abuse, the abandonment of her mother and teen years marked by drugs and rebellion, DiMari discovered the love of God while in college. Today she helps girls discover the sense of purpose that was illusive to her during her own childhood. “When I had kids, I realized how hard it was not to have a mom because I loved my kids so much,” says DiMari, who leads You’re Designed to Shine workshops nationwide (oceanstargifts.com). “It started hitting me how not having a mom affected my life and how important other women were going to be in my life.” Through her memoir, Ocean Star, DiMari shows young women how God healed her heart. Her follow-up You’re Designed to Shine facilitates small-group discussions that address such topics as choosing good friends, discovering one’s uniqueness and uncovering God’s dream for one’s life.

—Suzy A. Richardson


Mentoring

Leading a Chosen Generation

Doug Stringer says emerging leaders need spiritual mentors

No matter where he ministers, whether in the U.S. or abroad, in inner cities or suburbs, evangelist Doug Stringer encounters a common need: mentors, or spiritual fathers, who can help a largely fatherless generation find its way.

“Every young woman, every young man is waiting to hear the sound, ‘That’s my girl, that’s my boy,’ ” Stringer says. “They’re longing for some sort of affirmation, acceptance and approval from someone they respect. It doesn’t even have to come from their biological parents anymore.”

He found the need so overwhelming that he wrote a book about it in 1995, The Fatherless Generation, which he recently followed up with Who’s Your Daddy Now? Stringer, the founder of Somebody Cares (somebodycares.org), an evangelistic ministry based in Houston, says God wants to release a “prophetic generation” for bringing hope to people worldwide but that these young leaders need direction.

“They are wandering around without any covering, without a sense of destiny and purpose, but they’re ready to do something, they’re ready to give their lives for something they believe in,” he says, “but they need to know what they believe.”

He believes the church is called to help move young leaders into their destinies. “There is an army of volunteers that will emerge for the day of His power,” he says, “and I believe that’s this generation.”

—Adrienne S. Gaines

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