Worship Blog For Worship Leaders
Worship Blog - Worship Blog For Worship Leaders


Monday, 26 January 2015

Artist Spotlight - Bel Thomson (1st Place in WTR Song Contest 2014)

From Blue Hands to New Hands! It was an era of new birth and fresh beginnings in Australia. The early 80s saw the emergence of shoulder pads, big hair and lycra…and amidst this fashion disaster I was born! Not long before my birth my parents experienced their own rebirth; they became Christians as young adults: born into new hope, new purpose and a whole new life. They hadn’t been part of a church before that, but the family environment at the local church saw their new faith flourish. I grew up in this faith community, and I was just a regular Aussie kid who was really blessed to know about God’s love.

What many people don’t know is I was actually born with something wrong with my hands. Every night as a baby they would swell up and turn blue, because the skin around my wrists was too tight for the blood to flow. This impacted my ability to move my hands properly. I was booked into hospital to have an operation to fix it- a distressing prospect for my new parents. The night before the operation my parents went to church, and after the service they mentioned that I was booked into hospital the next day. One of the men there said “have you prayed about it?” Surprised, they said “no...can you pray about that stuff?” “Absolutely!” he replied. And so together they prayed that God would heal me. Nothing visible happened that night however, and after the prayer my parents took me home.


Well the next day my parents couldn’t believe their eyes because I woke up without swollen hands! They thought ‘what’s going on, that’s weird!’ Mum actually thought “Oh great! Of all mornings to have healthy hands…now the doctors will question the problem!” Never thinking I was actually better, they took me to hospital for the scheduled surgery and the doctors looked at me and said that the problem was totally healed! My parents realised with amazement that God had answered their prayers! I never needed the operation and my parents took home a healthy baby. For mum, this was a defining moment where she understood that God really cared for them in a personal way.

My dad said he knew from that moment that my hands would belong to God, and that God would somehow use my hands for His purposes. In the years that followed I started learning music, began writing songs, and was encouraged to play at church. Over many years, this has now grown into a full time music ministry, taking me across the country to play at many churches, conferences and events, doing training with church musicians and releasing several albums. My latest album saw a dream come true for me, working with Grammy-nominated producer Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Amy Grant and Kari Jobe) in Nashville, USA. I believe music is a powerful way to minister God’s love, and I play keyboard and guitar today for His glory with totally healthy hands!


God’s purpose for me has unfolded over many years, from childhood to adulthood, shaped through times of both blessing and adversity. As the journey continues, I hold to the words of Ephesians 2:10 “…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” What a wonderful thing it is to belong to Him, and to know that the Creator of the whole earth has a purpose for each one of us. He makes all things new: new life, new seasons, new spiritual birth, new hope, new purpose…and in my case, new hands!

Links


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If you would like to be considered for our Artist Spotlight feature please get in touch by dropping an email to:

phil@worshiptherock.com
If approved - here's what you'll get:
  1. A dedicated email send out about you to our 8,000+ members on Worship The Rock
  2. Your album appearing on the homepage (and almost every page) on WTR for 1 month
  3. 2 Tweets sent out to our 12,000+ Twitter followers
  4. 2 Facebook posts send out to our 4000+ Facebook fans
  5. A blog posted about you on the WTR blog

Monday, 12 January 2015

Artist Spotlight - Caleb Shepard

My heart for worship started at a young age when I was attending a small Baptist church at 7 years old. I was invited to stand up front and lead the hymn. As I waved my finger something in me knew I wanted to be a worship leader even though I had never heard the term before. In fact, very few people had. A short time later I took my first guitar lesson. After the first lesson I wrote my first worship song. A few years later I met a Korean youth pastor who handed a notebook with chords to the songs he sang in church. I would play them every day just to enjoy the presence of God that came from praising.
Now years later after spending many years in many countries, as a missionary leading worship and writing songs, attending and teaching at many schools and training conferences trying to find a deeper walk with God, though powerful there was something that began to feel missed. I have found myself in a place where everything has either been ripped or taken away. This has caused me to return to the place that I remembered as a child and rediscovered the power of just raw and unadulterated worship. This is the type of worship that just jumps out in the best of times and flows out as tears in the worst. The faithfulness God has always shown is expressed in me by songs. These expressions have grown into a desire to share with others who can relate and together lift up each other and just worship the name of the Lord.



The Spirit and the Bride Say Come

Black and White Praise's new album, The Spirit and the Bride Say Come, is a compilation of powerful songs that will take you from jumping and dancing to on your knees in worship. The Spirit and the Bride Say Come will bring to new light the joy and strength of the Christian's walk with Christ.


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If you would like to be considered for our Artist Spotlight feature please get in touch by dropping an email to:

phil@worshiptherock.com
If approved - here's what you'll get:
  1. A dedicated email send out about you to our 8,000+ members on Worship The Rock
  2. Your album appearing on the homepage (and almost every page) on WTR for 1 month
  3. 2 Tweets sent out to our 12,000+ Twitter followers
  4. 2 Facebook posts send out to our 4000+ Facebook fans
  5. A blog posted about you on the WTR blog

Friday, 21 November 2014

Artist Spotlight - Andy Maples

I grew up in Knoxville, TN., where I attended Inskip Elementary School for 8 years, and Central High School for one year. I played drums in the marching band. My parents sent me away to Ben Lippen School in Asheville NC for my high school years. I graduated in 1973. Ben Lippen School is a Christian Prep School that helped me developed the spiritual habits of prayer and Bible study. One of the smartest things I ever did was to set a specific time aside daily and commit that time to the Lord for prayer and Bible Study, a habit that I still keep to this day. It was also at this school that I began playing guitar and writing songs. Playing guitar came almost as naturally to me as breathing, while the songwriting craft took a much longer time to develop.



As to my testimony of coming to Christ, I had my salvation experience when I was young at a Family Camp in Marion, NC, under the ministry of Robertson McQuilken. It was called Missionary Plantation. Since I was so deeply involved in sports, music never crossed my mind before I was saved. My first spiritual awakening beyond my salvation experience occurred at Ben Lippen School, when I discovered that I could learn to relate to God through Bible study and prayer.

During the late 1980s, while I was working in Atlanta GA and attending the North Atlanta Bible Church, I discovered that I had certain gifts that could be used in full time ministry. After spending a good deal of time receiving counseling from the elders of the church, I decided to pursue opportunities of full time ministry. In 1990, an invitation to become a full time member of the missionary staff of New Life Bible Camp was offered to me. It was a “raise your own support” position. That was almost 25 years ago. The Lord has provided for all my needs and giving me far beyond that I could even ask for. My responsibilities at camp include leading worship, speaking during the evening meetings of summer camp, developing the summer camp small group Bible Studies, and finding way to use my musical abilities to minister to the many small churches in our area in Buffalo Mills, PA.


My musical ministry is really more about the camping ministry than it is about a musical career. My first obligation is to serve the Lord at camp, which often means I have to do others things besides music. I have recorded 9 projects that contain all original Christian themed songs. I am deeply passionate about worshipping with people of like faith in Christ. I am the worship leader of New Life Bible Camp for both retreats and the summer camping programs.

My deepest hope and abiding desire is that I might one learn to write great and powerful songs like the hymn writers of old, songs that speak truth about who God is and who He can be within us.

For further information check out:





------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you would like to be considered for our Artist Spotlight feature please get in touch by dropping an email to:

phil@worshiptherock.com
If approved - here's what you'll get:
  1. A dedicated email send out about you to our 8,000+ members on Worship The Rock
  2. Your album appearing on the homepage (and almost every page) on WTR for 1 month
  3. 2 Tweets sent out to our 12,000+ Twitter followers
  4. 2 Facebook posts send out to our 4000+ Facebook fans
  5. A blog posted about you on the WTR blog

Monday, 13 October 2014

Artist Spotlight - Jo Le Page

Jo Le Page had a very early interest in music and songwriting. From the age of three Jo would make up songs and record herself on a tape recorder to listen to later! As the years went on Jo continued to do the same, which proved useful when by the next day it was sometimes hard to remember the tune she had come up with the day before!

Jo was adopted as a baby and raised in a Christian home. At the age of eighteen she really questioned for herself what her faith really meant to her. After all she could have been adopted by a family of any religion and followed that without question. What made this real and her own? Jo thought these things through over time, and during a mild rebellion period she decided for herself that the reality of God was undeniable, and regardless of her upbringing and even regardless of other Christians she wanted to follow Him and proudly call herself a Christian.


Christian music has always been a favourite for Jo. Often lyrics would stay in her mind much easier than sermons and the powerful words would stick in her mind and be such a blessing to her. Jo hopes that her music can communicate to others the same way.

After writing some contemporary Christian songs and praise and worship, Jo soon realised that writing praise and worship choruses was the area that she was moving into. Jo leads worship with her husband Peter in a small church in Guernsey.

Jo has featured in two compilation cds by dB studios but for years has strived to find somewhere to record a collection of her own songs. After an interview on cross rhythms radio she was put in touch with Andy Baker of Resound Media.

‘The Message of the Cross’ is Jo’s debut EP. A few songs from this EP can be heard on her worship the rock page. The EP can be bought for just £3 plus p&p and any additional donations towards her EP’s will be donated to The A21 Campaign.

Jo is hoping to be able to minister in local churches in Guernsey and hopes to branch further afield in the future too.

Her heart is for the words of these songs to really move people into worship and speak to their heart. She is not wanting to be a performer or get a pat on the back but to be an instrument to turn the attention of the congregation off her and onto the one the songs are about.

For further information check out: www.worshiptherock.com/profile/JoLePage
Or contact info@lepage.co.uk


------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you would like to be considered for our Artist Spotlight feature please get in touch by dropping an email to:

phil@worshiptherock.com

If approved - here's what you'll get:
  1. A dedicated email send out about you to our 8,000+ members on Worship The Rock
  2. Your album appearing on the homepage (and almost every page) on WTR for 1 month
  3. 2 Tweets sent out to our 12,000+ Twitter followers
  4. 2 Facebook posts send out to our 4000+ Facebook fans
  5. A blog posted about you on the WTR blog

Monday, 28 April 2014

Artist Spotlight - Scott Ivey

He started out playing youth groups with his high school band...

"Straight up rock... That's what we were." Remembers Scott.

"We had a lot of fun with a lot of volume... We went from youth groups to bars to clubs to showcases to festivals... etc. The Robert Barnes Band was a good time, but it wasn't really 'about' anything."

The search for deeper meaning eventually led to a band break up, but Scott continued on... His solo effort, "Come Back", became popular with a wide variety of fans, but never gained any real traction.

In the midst of becoming a dad twice over, Scott decided to pack up his performance hat and go another route. "I felt like, and I still believe, that God was calling me. When I got the call to move to California, we were beside ourselves..."

Scott became a worship pastor at Bayside Church in Roseville California, and after a few years of exciting ministry, ended up settling down in Texas.

"I look at these past several years as much more than leading music. My family and I were able to be used across the country and back again... I learned more about who I am and who God says I am, and I know that it was all planned out for us." After moving to Texas, Scott and Alison had their third child. When it came time to make some tough life decisions, they decided to trust God with the direction they felt Him leading.

He packed up his family once more, moved from Houston to San Antonio, and is now the Worship Pastor for Crosspoint Fellowship Church in Schertz, TX.

"Worship is my passion, and I'm very excited about this EP that I'll be releasing soon" says Scott.



The four song EP entitled "Sound of Hope" is just the first installment of a bigger worship project that has been in the works for several years. Scott intends to do so much more with this project than just spread new worship music around.

"God has given me so many experiences to pull from; His grace and mercy... His patience with me... His gifts, His challenges, His love, His promises, and His hope. This album is just an attempt to respond. I want that response to be worship, and I would hope that others might be touched through the music as well."

The date for the official EP release is not until July 25th, 2014, but there is a good reason for the wait!! Scott is now in partnership with Compassion International, and is trying to spread the “sound of hope” all around the world! Please visit, and find out more at www.soundofhopeproject.com.

For even more on Scott and his ministry, please like him on Facebook @scottiveymusic and Follow on Twitter @scottiveymusic. Find out more at www.soundofhopeproject.com.

For more, previously released Scott Ivey music visit iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/scott-ivey/id39968680



------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you would like to be considered for our Artist Spotlight feature please get in touch by dropping an email to:

phil@worshiptherock.com

If approved - here's what you'll get:
  1. A dedicated email send out about you to our 8,000+ members on Worship The Rock
  2. Your album appearing on the homepage (and almost every page) on WTR for 1 month
  3. 2 Tweets sent out to our 12,000+ Twitter followers
  4. 2 Facebook posts send out to our 4000+ Facebook fans
  5. A blog posted about you on the WTR blog