Todd D. Hunter, founding pastor of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Orange County, Calif., shares his journey of despair in Giving Church Another Chance: Finding New Meaning in Spiritual Practices, which features a foreword by emerging church scholar Scot McKnight. The author's background includes time spent at Vineyard, Calvary Chapel, emerging churches, house churches and more.
PureFlix Entertainment | Starring Kevin Max, Jeff Deyo, Kerry Livgren, Tom Wright | Rated PG
Grand Design is the hottest Christian rock band around, and lead singer Johnny C (Kevin Max) is a rising star. For a while he successfully leads a double life-proclaiming Jesus onstage but choosing a sinful lifestyle offstage. Even when his wife leaves with their daughter and he's fired from the band, Johnny C doesn't grasp why he needs to change.
VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer, owner of Jellyfish Labs, explains his strategies to reach kids today and his current projects, JellyTelly online programming and the new What's in the Bible? DVD series.
Q: What's the aim of the new DVD series, What's in the Bible?
A: To bring Christianity to life for kids by walking them through the entire Bible—from Genesis to Revelation. I think VeggieTales did a good job teaching individual Bible stories and Christian values. What we're trying to do now, though, is connect all those dots to show kids the big picture. Instead of teaching Christian values, we're teaching Christianity. Instead of teaching individual Bible stories, we're teaching the entire Bible. I think it's the next step after VeggieTales—sort of "VeggieTales v2."
Q: Are you nervous about how this will be received by VeggieTales fans?
A: I was at first, until we started showing what we've done so far to a few Veggie fans for feedback. They loved it. They couldn't believe how much teaching we packed into half-hour episodes, or how fun it was to learn in this format.
You can find a lot on Craigslist—even band members. When frontman Geoff Hunker moved to Nashville, Tenn., he was ready to form a band and turned to Craigslist for help. "I just put up an ad looking for guitar, bass and drums to just see what happened," Hunker says on the band's Web site. "Probably 80 percent of the stuff that came out of it was just absolutely horrible."
Author and speaker Priscilla Shirer desires for Christian women to live beyond the point of just being saved and living a complacent Christian life. In One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land, she takes a deeper look at the journey of the Israelites out of Egypt into the land of milk and honey. She correlates their journey to the journeys many Christians take today.
Need a shot of faith? Author Julia Loren's newest book, When God Says Yes: His Promises and Provision When You Need It Most, is a collection of testimonies, many by well-known ministry leaders and will bring a needed reminder of how God takes care of His people.
When Brenton Brown was in high school in Cape Town, South Africa, he started playing the guitar and "fell head over heels" in love with it. He continued to play during college and received a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University. He moved to the United Kingdom and joined the Vineyard Church, where he led worship and has appeared on many Vineyard worship CDs.
But then he got sick and was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. In the midst of learning how to cope with his condition, Brown was inspired in his songwriting. The songs on his new album, Adoration, reflect his growth during this season of difficulty.
But Brown and his wife, Jude, experienced an even bigger test of faith when their first baby, Grace, died in utero and had to be delivered stillborn. With devastated hearts they chose to trust the Lord and worship. The song "Adoration" was Brown's response.
The Buzz features Brown's own words describing his experience of worship in the midst of unbelievable pain and hardship. (Click here to purchase this album.)
Amazing God, You Can Bear the Weight of Every Heart
Sometimes it feels as if the burdens of this life are just too heavy to bear. Sometimes they weigh down on us so hard that the thought of anyone being able to carry them seems ludicrous.
By R. Loren Sandford | Chosen | softcover | 192 pages | $13.99
This book applies to anyone experiencing spiritual burnout. However, R. Loren Sandford's background and retelling of conflicts with elders, gossips and immature church members mean its leading appeal will be to pastors. Still, Renewal for the Wounded Warrior can benefit the entire body of Christ with its exploration of the three stages of burnout and the "dark night of the soul" that follows.
Brothers Tim and Jon Neufeld with Dave Lalonde and James Johnston make up the modern-worship band Starfield. They continue to write for the church, and their new album, The Saving One, is a mix of modern-worship anthems and songs of personal confession.
Newworldson has had a season of success since their debut national release, Salvation Station, two years ago. The Canadian band has garnered numerous award nominations, including two Juno Awards for Gospel Album of the Year, and the band won two Roots Album of the Year awards for Best New Artist and Group of the Year. Their video Working Man claimed the No. 1 spot on the Gospel Music Channel. It's been a wild ride, and now the band is back offering ramped up, vamped up music and lyrics on their self-titled album.
Need help teaching your children how to listen? Big Idea is here to save the day—or simply offer another fun lesson-adventure with Pistachio: The Little Boy That Woodn't. Drawing inspiration from the classic Pinocchio, the Veggies tell how the toymaker Gelato decided to carve a little boy out of wood. He was surprised when Pistachio could walk and talk and think!
Paladin | Starring Nate Parker, Rick Schroder, Michael Rooker, Lela Rochon, Omar Benson Miller | Rated PG-13
A film capturing the origins of civil rights resistance in a small North Carolina town is headed to the big screen.
Opening in select cities Friday, Blood Done Sign My Name, the latest offering by Fugitive and Die Hard writer-producer Jeb Stuart, centers around a little-known civil rights trial involving three white men accused of murdering a 23-year-old black man in 1970 Oxford, N.C.
Fifteen years ago, in the book Honestly, Sheila Walsh shared her story of going from being a singer and television talk-show host to being a patient in a psychiatric ward struggling with deep depression. In her new book, Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God, Walsh tells the rest of her journey. She has gone from living with stifling fear to living in liberating trust.
God has taught her what it really means to be in relationship with Him. "If you had asked me maybe even a year ago what was the greatest gift we could give God, I would have said, 'To love Him,'" she says. "But I think today I would say, 'To trust Him.'"
"Trusting Him is what love looks like. I think it's how we show Him how much we love Him by absolute trust."
Walsh wanted to understand what true trust looks like, so she began studying people in Scripture who had no idea how to trust but ultimately learned to trust God. She saw how their lives were transformed.
Gungor (formerly The Michael Gungor Band) offers alternative worship about the goodness, faithfulness and greatness of God on the new release Beautiful Things.
The title track is a ballad of faith declaring that Jesus can make the "dust" of our lives into something beautiful. The banjo-based highlight "You Have Me" declares that even in the silence God is "always faithful, always good."
By Douglas LeBlanc | Thomas Nelson | hardcover | 176 pages | $17.99
As part of The Ancient Practices Series, Douglas LeBlanc's Tithing: Test Me in This explores responses to the text of Malachi 3:10. This seventh book in the eight-part series devoted to spiritual disciplines of the Christian church features a foreword by eminent religion editor and writer Phyllis Tickle.
Author and pastor David Jeremiah asks, "What does grace look like when it steps off the pages of Scripture and onto the cracked sidewalks of life?" The new Captured by Grace seven-week Bible study is an in-depth look at what it means for grace to be applied to our everyday lives.
TobyMac, best-selling and Grammy Award-winning artist, releases his fourth studio project CD, Tonight. The album single, "City on Our Knees," released last fall and has sold more than 130,000 copies, making it TobyMac's fastest charting and selling track of his career.
Once again, TobyMac invited special guests to collaborate with him. Skillet's John Cooper, Matthew Thiessen of Relient K and Nirva Ready are featured on this album. A special treat is hearing TobyMac's 10-year-old son, Truett, aka "TruDog," on "LoudNClear." Also available are bonus remixes and behind-the-scenes video.
TobyMac recently answered questions and shared his thoughts about his latest album. (Click here to purchase.)
Q: What can you tell us about the new album?
A: To me making the record is an absolute labor of love from the songwriting process to the recording process. I get to shape songs while waiting for God to breathe into them.