It’s been a long time coming, but The Rise has arrived!

I’m a worshiper who, when looking for a soundtrack for “getting my praise on”, craves that sound that goes beyond cultural barriers and lends it’s musical sustenance to this generation. That’s what’s always attracted me to the songs of Jon Owens. It’s been a while since the Arise album came out (Fire Burns, Kingdom Come, When I Praise Him and Son of Man were all congregational classics), and of course the Son of Man (Bless the LORD) epic rendition on Tye Tribbetts “Stand Out” album. There were other projects that Jon wrote for and led on but if you’re like me, we’ve been waiting to see what God gives Jon…

Jon and Kelley Owens have been exemplary in their worship and leadership amidst the turmoil they’ve seen in life over the last few years. God called their beautiful baby daughter Aria Joy home to Heaven a few years ago. I must say that as a friend to Jon and Kelley, the way that God has walked them through such deep grievous process has been such a beautiful testament to the grace of God on their lives. “The Rise” comes from a new level of depth in experiencing Gods relentless grace in their lives. “We Cry Holy” is an anthem that was written in that place.

To Jon and Kelley and their beautiful family – thanks for your tireless work serving Every Nation as a movement throughout it all. I believe with new depths come new heights with these new EP’s and the ministry that grows from this… We love “The Rise” and can’t wait for “The Fall” later this year!

Go get it y’all – CLICK HERE

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Video  —  Posted: April 10, 2014 in Uncategorized
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From the EN Central series – “A Disciple is”

From the Every Nation Central series “A Disciple Is…”

Sway, Andy Mineo and Heather B on Sways Universe

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, I’m always on the look out for Christ and those representing Him well in popular culture.

Andy Mineo, much like his Reach Records labelmate Lecrae is definitely a great example of that in hip hop culture. His recent EP “Neverland” which was released a couple of weeks ago, sat at number 1 on iTunes upon it’s debut. No, not the Christian charts. THE charts.

Here is Andy Mineo being interviewed by MTV VJ  and Hip Hop legendary cultural figure on his show, Sway’s Universe.

(Please be aware, there is some use of language which may be considered offensive, used by callers and others (NOT Andy haha!) but this is the culture that we’re called to impact and Andy is there!)

Definitely praying for Andy Mineo, Lecrae, Reach Records and all who are actually in the culture bringing and representing our King Jesus with excellence. Let’s be challenged to be excellent in our skill and prayerful in how God will give those of us who are believers and followers of Christ opportunities to represent Him well.

(Over the next few days I’ll be posting a few devotions as we at EN Central commit to a time of prayer and fasting to kick the year off!)

The original movie based on the short story starring Danny Kaye

John 10:10 says “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I (Jesus) come to give you life and life abundantly.” I’ve often reflected on that verse and seen the Jesus who calls us out to live the adventure in abundant living – not to settle for a life of merely respiratory progression towards death.

Upon viewing the movie Walter Mitty, (based on the 1939 short story of the same name which spawned the nickname for anyone who was stuck in a rutted life that was totally drained of spontaneity, but had a tendency to dream a vicarious life of thrill.) I began to think about that passage from John – that maybe the enemies agenda was not to literally to “kill and destroy” us necessarily, but also to kill our spirit and destroy any possibility for us to step out in faith and come alive in the adventurous purposes of God.

What differs though from the existentialist blossoming of Walter Mitty, and the emergence of a believer who has the revelation by the grace of God of the adventure that lies ahead in the abundant life that Christ offers, is the death perspective. Walter Mitty would live on the edge of death “testing the limits of the human spirit”, and in the process, try and hope to come alive. Christianity calls us to be crucified in Christ, in order that we may experience the abundant life.

Nothing wrong with adventure – it’s what we were made for. But it’s an eternal thrill ride when you hold the hands of the Screenwriter, Producer and Director of the greatest piece of art ever made – HIStory, the way it was always intended before the world even existed.

Video  —  Posted: January 13, 2014 in CREATIVE/INNOVATIVE, LIFESTYLE, MINISTRY
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Here’s 7 songs I had playing the most in my headphones… What were yours?

Lorde and HAIM

OK 2 disclaimers:

1) this is not a church worship songlist so for those who might be expecting something of that nature – maybe in another blog? And some of these are not necessarily by Christian artists… Great music is great music.

2) This doesn’t mean that I bought all these albums – this is purely based on the actual song.

 

James Blake – Retrograde

Been watching this guy perform live – he is amazing… But I must say, this song from “Overgrown” is so beautifully sung and produced, I really got lured into the lush vocals and minimalist production. Had me tapping this beat on Maschine along to it upon listening to it.

Pharrell Williams – Happy

I must admit, I can’t stand it when people turn their phones on in movies. But I just couldn’t help myself upon watching Despicable 2 and hearing this song – I immediately recognised Pharrell’s vocals, so immediately went onto iTunes and bought the song. I’ve been happy ever since, well, at least this song does put a smile on my face.

Gungor – I Am Mountain

If you’ve been following this blog, or you know me, you’ll know just how much I dig Gungor. So what if worship leaders don’t necessarily go to their last two albums for worship songs to sing in their congregations, Gungor are doper than ever. This song really is a reflection of that dopeness…

Walls Group – Perfect People

You had me at “This song is not for you”… Just infectious. This was by far the song (and music video) that myself and my kids were singing together the most this year… Gotta love them Walls! Now Kirk, can we get that new album?

Sarah Cheng-De Winne – Parallel Lives

No one can accuse me as a resident of Singapore, that I’m not down with local Singaporean music. Good music is good music, and I think that Sarah has one of the best produced albums to come out of the little Red Dot. Great songwriting, great production makes for a great music! Also, although my wife and I are musicians, it’s really hard to find common ground in tastes – thanks Sarah for providing an album of common ground for the both of us! Keep it coming!

HAIM – Falling

Ok – I’m not that much of a HAIM fan, but I am a huge fan of this song… When it came to the “Guitar vs Synths” discussion of this year, I definitely swung a lot more towards the Synth side of the debate. I’ll be honest when it came to funkier retro-synth inspired albums this year, I was checking for Passion Pit, Daft Punk and Chvrches albums… But I have to admit, that I played this song a ton more times than “Get Lucky”. If you remember the 80′s, turn this one up in the headphones and tell me this doesn’t inspire you to get your “Footloose”, “Fame” or “Electric Bogaloo” on…

Lorde – Royals

She’s super-young writing great songs, of which this one epitomises the strength of her developing talent. And oh, did I mention she’s a kiwi? When most of us kiwis were riding driving Holdens in our dreams, she was driving a cadillac before she could get a learners permit? She was destined for international success and sharing hair stories with Taylor Swift.

What were yours?

I’ve embarked on the #EmptyShelfChallenge initiated by mr “Stuff Christians Say”, Jon Acuff.
(Shucks I even joined Pinterest for this… Come follow me if you’re in Pinterest!)

Wanted to be more purposeful in my reading for 2014, so here’s my first book for the year!

title: Manhood Restored – How the Gospel Makes Men Whole

author: Eric Mason

whats it about?: The restoration of the identity and purpose of men from a Biblical, and even more so Gospocentric perspective.

why did I read it?: because I’m a man, and I want to be who God made me to be.

strongest idea: that Jesus Christ is not only “the man” we look to as our Example, but he is the restorer of manhood for all of us as men, as well as restoring our worldview culturally as men and of men. Such a strong Biblically referenced book by Eric Mason.

where can you get it?: I got mine at CRU.com.sg

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40 Days: 40) It is Finished

Posted: January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30 ESV)

Fully paid. Undeserved.
It’s one thing to have a debt taken care of by someone else. It’s another to mock and beat the debt payer. And now we live in the light of our debt of sin being fully paid…

It is finished.

The need to strive under incomplete circumstances is over. It is finished! The necessity to pursue plights of purpose in peculiar places has been put to proper disposal. It’s over.

I’m entering into rhythmic rest – the beat of my life was totally out of sync with that of our King. But now, I rest without striving, blessed not denying that I’m under the Kings jurisdiction. His record is flawless, I’m no longer restless, his love BEATS me senseless into a synchronized shepherded symphony towards still streams of water.

And the beat goes…

IT IS DONE
It Is Done
it is done

IT IS DONE
It Is Done
it is done…

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When I look back at all God has done in our lives this year, as hard as times may have been, it’s been such a fruitful and glorious year in Christ.

Here are some of the people and things that were photograph worthy highlights this year for us the Atiga family.

We just want to thank God for granting us such a full life; a life that embodies what Christ gives us in abundance ala John 10:10.

Through the cross and God’s redemption have we been given this opportunity to live out this life to the fullest…

Looking forward!

Video  —  Posted: January 1, 2014 in FAMILY, MINISTRY, WORSHIP

new-years

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:3-6 ESV)

The cross of Jesus Christ was God’s idea. Which is why it was, and is, infallible. God never fails, and neither does anything that He resolves.

With that in mind, I present to you why New Year Resolutions fail…

1) Resolutions that are made, that are not aligned with God’s plans are bound to fail. God in His sovereignty knows your plans before you make resolutions. How much easier would life and making New Years resolutions be if we just made ones that align with his blueprints for our lives?

2) Resolutions that fail are more often than not usually promote a form of outward change without inner transformation. First thing to note is that any resolution made without the resolve towards a transformation of the Spirit, will remain surface and self centred in nature. Have you ever asked yourself why for the new year, the majority of people who make resolutions, make decisions regarding the betterment of their mind, spirit and body? What is the reason why someone would want to read the Bible or other books more, or workout and eat right more, or pray more? A lot of time it’s to become a better you. The message of the cross is simply at odds with this message – rather than having the aim of being a better version of you, Jesus would have us be crucified with Christ?

3) Goals aren’t clear. If your targets are fuzzy, you’ll hit em every time.

4) There are no routine incremental steps towards the resolution. If all you see is the mountain ahead in your resolution, it can be quite disheartening. For instance, in the USA, the number one resolution made annually at this time of year is to “lose weight”. If the goal is not specific in nature as per 3) then you’ll either fail, or you’ll hit it much more easily at the very slight sight of improvement. Each mountain is conquered one step at a time.

5) Resolutions are often made without resolving in the heart. Achievable resolutions are usually made with deep resolve of the heart, whether it’s a firm disgust of a current predicament, or simply a tiresome view of the current status quo. The pain of remaining in the state we are in during 2013 should scream far louder than the pain of walking through the initial excruciating pattern adjustments to be made in 2014, in order for a resolution to be of any lasting consequence.

6) Resolutions do not involve helping others. We live to love God. That’s simple enough. We also exist to love one another, through sharing, humility and compassion.

7) Resolutions do not start “tomorrow”. Each “today” matters. Nuff said.

Jesus had such a strong resolve in his heart to go to the cross so that humankind will find it’s way back to him. That kind of resolve is the kind that one needs to see lasting transformation in your life and the lives of others around you.

Here’s 7 tips for resolutions that will last:

1) Create resolutions regularly throughout the year.

2) Get some kind of tracker to help track your progress, and commit to entering data.

3) Set time to dream regularly and envision what life will be like when this resolution comes to pass.

4) Meditate in God’s word and in prayer regularly.

5) Ask God what are his New Year Resolutions

6) Share the resolution with trusted people

7) Connect your resolution to the glorification of God and helping other people.