Let’s go, boys and grills

Summer’s coming up and it’s time to fire up the barbie!

My mates from our Canberra church are holding a barbecue on  11 November, 4:30 p.m., at 11 Pickler Rise, Moncrieff. Just blokes, beef, and barbecue!

If your Canberra air conditioning is shot and you’d rather join us, you can email us at everynationcanberra@gmail.com or message 0423 233 723.

This is going to be fun!

Planetshakers Live in Manila this August 2015

I’m so psyched!

Australian worship act PLANETSHAKERS is returning to the Philippines in August 2015 to worship with Filipino believers across this nation. Famous for their inspirational and upbeat music, Jonathan Hunt and company have a heart to see generations rise up to a purposeful life, and be empowered by music to make a difference in the world. Originally from Adelaide, Australia, the Planetshakers Band is now based in Melbourne. With over 20 internationally-acclaimed albums, the band tours annually around the world, including the USA, UK, Europe, South Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

The new album, This is Our Time, debuted at No.1 on iTunes Philippines, so clearly the band have a following here. Their last visit, a back-t0-back concert with Israel Houghton, packed the Araneta Coliseum. I see no reason why it can’t happen again! Their mission this 2015 in the Philippines is to awaken, empower, transform and equip the Filipinos to fulfill their God-given destiny. Through fervent praise and worship, inspirational teaching and powerful acts of the Holy Spirit, this night will be one of the unforgettable moment where we can be touched and impacted by God like never before.

PLANETSHAKERS Live in Manila
August 14, 2015 | 7PM • Smart Araneta Coliseum

Ticket Prices
Patron                P 1800        (reserved seating)
Upperbox A         P 1200      (reserved seating)
Upperbox B        P   600       (free seating)
Gen Ad                P   300       (free seating)

You can buy tickets at  beccamusic.com or at ticketnet.com.

Come worship at Lifestival!

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 1.08.29 PMMy wife and I are huge Katinas fans, so when I found out about Lifestival: A Word and Worship Celebration, I was psyched! Lifestival is a night of insightful stories and inspiring songs featuring international and local musicians and artists, including Philippine pop-rock princess Yeng Constantino, singer-turned-minister Ray An Fuentes, hip-hop and R&B singer Quest – I knew him as Jose, but he’s cooler now, lolz – and new praise and worship team Firebrand. About 10,000 people are expected to come, what with these talented artists, plus Doulos for Christ World Harvest Ministry’s founder and senior pastor, Bishop Oriel Ballano, who will share a special message.

The gem of the festival – other than Jesus, of course – is the presence of the Katinas. Happening on June 14, 2014, Saturday, 7:00PM, at the Mall of Asia Arena, Lifestival: A Word and Worship Celebration is a free thanksgiving offering from Life Oil® in celebration of its fifth anniversary. Life Oil® is 100% pure malunggay oil extract, the only oil-based moringa product in the market today. This all-natural nutriceutical food supplement is rich in Organic Live Chlorophyll, Essential Amino Acids, Vitamins, Minerals, and Phytochemicals.

How do you get tickets? To get tickets, simply like the official Facebook page of Lifestival (doesn’t hurt to like the Lifestival Facebook page, while you’re at it) and send a private message that include the following: complete name, address, mobile number, and the message LIFE IS GOOD! I WANT A FREE TICKET TO LIFESTIVAL WORD AND WORSHIP CELEBRATION! A confirmation message will later be sent individually to all those who will qualify for free tickets, with details on how to claim their free tickets.

See y’all there!

Colton Dixon Live in Manila

Contemporary Christian singer and former American Idol finalist Colton Dixon will be joining second placer Jessica Sanchez in Manila for the latter’s Valentine concert in Manila on February 14, 8pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Dixon was eliminated in seventh place during the most recent season of American Idol, but he’s parlayed his fifteen minutes of fame on the show into a promising career in the Contemporary Christian scene. His single You Are is now at number 17 on Billboard’s Christian Songs chart.

Press release follows:
Though Steven Tyler deemed fan favorite Colton Dixon’s 7TH place finish in American Idol’s Season
11 to be “beyond shocking”, the 21 year old singer/songwriter held true to his musical passion and
deep faith, viewing his elimination from the show as a huge opportunity.

While the remaining contestants battled it out for the Season 11 finals, he got right to work
collaborating on 13 new songs in 13 days, the start of a songwriting process that ultimately
netted him 22 potential tracks and led him to sign with 19/EMI-CMG/Sparrow Records. His highly
anticipated debut album A Messenger, (release date January 29, 2013), features 11 powerful
and infectious pop/rock tracks that showcase Dixon’s trademark balance of vocal tenderness and
intensity, his energetic piano playing and, above all else, a sense of hope and inspiration.

With the built in goodwill of millions of “Messengers” (his nickname for the fans he gained during
his run on Idol) behind him, Dixon has been laying the foundation for months for an exciting
breakthrough in 2013 that will include the release of the full length album and a late winter/early
spring tour opening for the Grammy winning rock band, Third Day. Colton’s performance of “Never
Gone” on the American Idols Live 2012 tour was the first time an Idol contestant has performed an
original song (that he had co-written) on an American Idol tour.

The uplifting power ballad, “Never Gone,” was heard by over 360,000 on the tour and was an
immediate hit digital single, selling 21,000 units its first week and heading straight to #1 on the
iTunes Christian & Gospel singles chart and Billboard’s Christian Digital Songs and Christian/
Gospel Digital Songs charts. The instant success of this track put him in unique company: he and
Jennifer Hudson are the only 7TH place finalists in Idol history to reach #1 on a Billboard chart.

“This song is about how we sometimes need a reminder about why we do certain things or in this
case, a reminder about whom we are living for,” he explains. “When you are scared of the dark as a
child, you just turn on the lights and know everything will be okay. That is the basic message of the
song. I’ve experienced this feeling. “

“You Are,” Dixon’s subsequent debut radio single also hit #1 on those same charts and was selected
as USA Today’s Song of the Week upon its digital release October 30. The inspirational message
came to Dixon when his close friend was contemplating suicide. He wanted to find a song that could

be the anthem for those struggling with difficult times in their lives. The healing power of these
lyrics and the song “You Are” is one example of how Dixon embodies the collection’s title concept
of A Messenger, which comes from a favorite scripture about a messenger never being greater
than the one who sent him. The title also comes from the name of the band the singer fronted for
several years in his late teens in his hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In the years before
Dixon went after his dreams on American Idol.
Fans who have watched Idol the past two seasons know that Dixon’s journey on the show began in
the Summer of 2010, when he and his younger sister Schyler stood in line under the hot summer
sun, warming up for their duet version of Daughtry’s hit “What About Now.” While he didn’t make
it to the Top 24, he never lost his resolve, and continued working on songwriting and developing
himself as a performer. A year later he accompanied Schyler to auditions for Season 11 to offer
moral support. Judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson recognized him and
convinced him to sing for them. This time, they put both of the Dixons through to Hollywood.

Dixon’s success on American Idol and the recording of the new album are the singer’s latest steps
towards fulfilling this unexpected calling.

“Calling the album A Messenger was a good way for me to put things in perspective in terms of my
personal faith,” he says, “to make sure people realize, that while I am sharing honest emotions and
experiences based on this. The album moves along like a rollercoaster ride. There are not two songs
that sound alike, which is something I worked hard to achieve and am excited about. Working with
my amazing team of writers and producers, I wanted to share different experiences that I’ve gone
through, the lows and the high. I wanted to shed some hope on people no matter what they’re going
through.

“We’ve all been deep in that valley, and I know what I’ve been through,” Dixon adds.
“Whenever I’m in those dark places, I feel that God has pulled me through, and I want to inspire
others by telling them about my experiences. That’s the central message of A Messenger. Those
who never saw me on Idol will get to know where my heart lies pretty fast when they listen.
Musically, I also think that it’s important to present a vibe that has a unique and fresh energy and
point of view.”

The platform of American Idol was instrumental in helping Dixon hook up with a solid veteran team
of writers and producers who could take Dixon’s artistry to the next level and help him realize his
vision for the project. Chief among these is Red Decibel, the team of Adam Watts, Andy Dodd and
Gannin Arnold—whose goal with each artist is summed up in three words: INSPIRE. CREATE. REPEAT.
In addition to writing and producing on over 50 million albums sold worldwide, Red Decibel have had
songs and productions in the Top 5 of the Billboard 200 every year for the past eight years; their
diverse list of credits include Kelly Clarkson, Jesse McCartney, Jeremy Camp and one of Dixon’s
chief influences, Switchfoot. Among the tracks the trio worked on with Dixon are “Never Gone” and
“In and Out of Time”—a tune the singer says is about “wanting to make friends with what’s going on
now, wanting to move on, but being held back by the past that’s haunting you.”

Dixon’s other collaborators on A Messenger include mega-producer busbee (Daughtry, P!nk,
Switchfoot, Smash Mouth, Keith Urban), who co-wrote “You Are” (with Dixon and Dixon’s friends,
Jared Martin and Rhyan Shirley) and the dramatic, theatrical “Noise”; renowned Nashville
based songwriter Zac Maloy (Daughtry, Plain White T’s, Carrie Underwood), who penned the power
anthem “I’ll Be The Light” with Dixon; Kevin Griffin (formally of the band Better Than Ezra) with
“Rise” and Dave Bassett (Shinedown), co-writer of “This Is Who I Am.” Dixon also wrote “Where My
Heart Goes,” with top writer/producer David Garcia (whose credits include former Idol contestant

and fellow EMI CMG artist,Mandisa) and Ben Glover, named ASCAP’s Christian Songwriter of the
Year for 2012. Scotty Wilbanks, touring keyboardist with Third Day, wrote the stripped down,
acoustic driven “Let Them See You”.

Dixon, who is in near constant communication with his fans via Facebook and Twitter, sent out a
blast to his fans, asking a penetrating question whose responses inspired one of A Messenger’s most
powerful songs, the haunting, hard hitting “Scars.” He simply asked them to send in stories about
some of their more difficult life experiences and how their faith played a role in dealing with them.

“I was overwhelmed with the responses I received both via social media and email,” he says, “and
the one central word that kept popping up was ‘scars.’ I was really blessed to grow up in a home
with a wonderful family, and learning about what these people had been through to get where they
are today made me very thankful, but it was also humbling. I told some of those tales in abstract
ways through the song’s verses, while the chorus is my way of offering symbols of hope. I really do
believe that today’s another day to learn from our mistakes. Our scars shed light on where we’ve
been and remind us of who we are no matter how far we’ve come.”

“I have a lot of passion for what I do, and I believe that people respond to artists who pour their
hearts into every performance and connect with the songs they sing. For them to believe in what I’m
singing, I have to believe it first. It’s all about being yourself, sharing your heart and being genuine.
Those are the things that make a difference.”

A MESSENGER by COLTON DIXON is now available in CDs at Astroplus and Odyssey Music & Video or
online via iTunes or www.MyMusicStore.com.ph

Catch Pinoy Pride Jessica Sanchez together with fellow American Idol Season 11 finalist Colton Dixon
in a special Valentine Concert on February 14, 8pm at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Call TicketNet at
911-5555 for ticket inquiries and reservations or visit www.ticketnet.com.ph to buy tickets online.

Brought to you by MCA Music and Ovation Productions…

“Hello to Heaven” Worship Concert

Come and join Filipino Contemporary-Christian singer Acel and several worship leaders from across Metro Manila invite you to Hello to Heaven, a special night of worship, on September 14 at the Victory Greenhills Center, Level R4 (fourth level), V-Mall, Greenhills Commercial Center.

Acel, who is best known for being the former lead vocalist of Moonstar88, will be joined by fellow recording artists Yeng Constantino, Barbie Almalbis, and Emmanuel Vera, as well as worship artists Adriel Dulin, Charles Bautista, Jam Capistrano, Lee Brown, Mitchell Santiago, and Yan Asuncion.

Tickets sell for Php200 and are for the benefit of Right Start, an organization that exists to better the lives of Filipino children. For inquiries, call 0920-8505465 or email hello@acelmusic.com. Special thanks to BMI Music, House of Praise, Saved Radio, Lee Cooper, and Mansion Printing Center.

 

 

 

P.U.S.H. Pilipinas: Praying for the Government

The Philippines is the Lord’s showpiece, His torch that will light the way for most of the world.

We are the head and not the tail. A huge financial blessing will come upon the Philippines that we are able to feed the hungry in the rest of the world.

God is now ready to unlock the Philippines, and it will affect America and the entire world.

Join tonight’s prayerthon, P.U.S.H. Pilipinas: Pray Until Something Happens, tonight at 11pm on GMA News TV.

(P.U.S.H. Pilipinas) Praying for Family

Tonight, we pray for the Filipino family on P.U.S.H. Pilipinas.

The Filipino family is in dire need of prayer. This is the stunning truth of the matter: we live in a world where a stunning number of families now live in single-parent households. I praise God for the strength (He gives to/of those) those single parents who sustain their children by themselves, but my heart also goes out to them, because it is a thankless job that is doubly difficult when done alone.

Not impossible, but extremely difficult. It is a situation I wouldn’t wish on anybody, but those people in those situations have my love and respect.

Countless families have parents either separated or working abroad to help their families make ends meet. A generation of children is growing up without a father or mother figure to raise them and teach them the values and virtues needed to grow up in a way that will help them become productive, moral, just members of society. This is not to say that parental absence is tantamount to a child’s becoming a wayward adult, nor is it to say that parental presence is a guarantee of a child’s growing up to become a mighty man or woman of God.

It cannot be denied, however, that the absence of a parent or both in the lives of their children, whether by OFW circumstance or separation because both parents can no longer live with each other, bears stunning repercussions on generations to come.

I grew up with a father and a mother who loved me enough to raise me in a double-parent home. But my father, God rest his soul, was also out a lot; I wouldn’t classify him as an absentee father, but I couldn’t exactly say that he was always there for me, because I don’t remember being with him a lot. I learned how to be a dad – and how NOT to be a dad – from the example of my father and fathers around me, my uncles, and neighbors. But I also saw families without dads, and families with dads who were physically present but emotionally absent.

I literally have to catch myself, because I already see myself becoming like my dad. I don’t ever want my son to say, “My dad wasn’t there for me.” I am already one of the lucky ones, my wife and I are together and very happily so; I can’t speak for those who literally, don’t have dads.

We learn by example, positive or otherwise. If I don’t have any idea of what it’s like to be a dad, I will learn from somewhere else, or I will figure it out on my own. “Okay lang iyan,” I’ll think of how I raise my kid, “kayanin na lang.” How foolhardy of me to chalk up the future of generations of people from my bloodline to something as simple as “okay lang iyan!”

Without taking any dignity away from the parents that do it alone, I will pray for the Filipino families that are complete, to stay complete, and for the single-parent families to receive the kind of example and support of what it means to be a good parent, from those around them. That kind of support can be found in the church.

Tonight, I pray specifically for families without dads, for the sons growing up without ever really knowing what template to use for being a father when their time comes, and the generations of children whose examples of fatherhood will come from those sons. I pray that God will bring them into contact with godly men who will take them under their wings, and teach them about Biblical living, and about godly manhood, and about what it means to find someone and love them even in the difficult times.

Tonight, on P.U.S.H. Pilipinas, we are praying for the unity and salvation of the Filipino family. I will pray they will turn to God for strength and wisdom, that they will remain solid and strong through God’s favor and strength, and not their own, and that the principles taught in the Bible, for moral and civil strength, will one day reign in every Filipino household. I hope you will join us, 11pm, on GMA News.

“Robbing” OMF Literature

I’m not sure which was the bigger feat: stuffing 22 books into a tiny canvas bag about a foot and a half in diameter, or the fact that OMF Literature allowed me to do so.

OMF Literature, the country’s premiere publisher and importer of quality Christian reading material, launched its month-long clearance sale with a by-invitation-only event titled “R.O.B. Us Booksale,” the R.O.B. meaning “Raid Our Bookshop.”

You know a Christian Literature major like myself is not going to say “No!” to that!

I was extremely grateful for the invitation from OMF Literature, and it’s a privilege to be given an opportunity like that, so yesterday, June 8, I got my fat butt to the OMF headquarters along Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong City. I took half a day to do a slew of personal errands – and accomplished all of them save one, I guess those Jayesslee tickets are going to have to wait until next week! – with the R.O.B. Us booksale the main item on my agenda.

It literally took 30 minutes for me to find a parking spot (and that one opened only when I spied my friends from Becca Music leaving the bookstore with bags and bags of books in tow).

Good news: parking spot.

Bad news: Stan and the rest of BMI probably bought every book in sight.

The OMF Bookstore isn’t exactly the largest bookstore in the world, and more than two dozen shoppers jostled and wrangled for the best books in sight. It wasn’t like a Forever 21 sale where people just drop fruits of the Holy Spirit alongside F-bombs and the wayward piledriver; it was civil (but I knew what people were thinking).

Many of the titles I wanted were actually out of stock – the one I really wanted, Hipster Christianity, I spied in the grubby hands of some fellow who I really wanted to hate but couldn’t, because 1) he’s a believer, which makes him my brother-in-Christ, and 2) he did look like a hipster, so I guess he qualified for it more.

I did get some of the items I wanted – Blue Like Jazz, The Message Solo Devotional, and Learn to Pray in 28 Days, all for friends who asked me to buy for them. However, I did buy 19 other titles, most of which I re-sold to folks at the office. End of day, I ended up with several titles, most of them teen-oriented titles (that will help me raise Nathan and Nicki, I hope, alongside my nephews who kinda look up to me).

Among the books I’m really looking forward to reading are:

  1. Engaging Your Teen’s World by Brian Housman. The past few weeks, I’ve interacting with a lot more teens, and so I want to make sure I stay relevant and speak to them openly and honestly. This book should speak wonders into it.
  2. What You didn’t Learn from Your Parents About Sex by Matthew Paul Turner. What can I say? I’m not getting caught pants-down – not literally nor figuratively – by any teens asking me the tough questions.
  3. The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. Strobel was a former atheist whose investigations into the truth about Jesus led him to become a Christian. These books should help solidify my theological foundation and help me delve deeper into my faith so in case anyone asks me about it, I will be able to speak clearly and with authority.
  4. The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher by Rob Stennett. I don’t have a lot of Christian fiction. (I don’t have any, actually.) The premise of the story – a real estate agent who cons a Christian community – rings a little close to home, so I’m looking forward to reading this one.
  5. What’s Age Got to Do With It? by Robin McGraw. Bought this one for my mother.
  6. Stories for the Extreme Teen’s Heart. Bought this to give away to a lucky KKB! These kids are extreme!
  7. The Strong-Willed Wife. Um… *grin*

I still can’t believe I was able to get 22 books for only Php550! That’s totally wild. Here are other massive deals from June 9 through 27:

1. Five-orites! 5 books* for P300
2. Readers’ Dozen! 12 books* for P500
3. Thrifty-Fifty! 50 books* for P1,500
4. P95 a book – Snatch them from the bundle pile
5. Bundle Burglary – Book sets for as low as P500
6. 20% off on all regular-priced OMF Lit titles
7. 30% off for Kaibigan Card and Pastors’ Exclusives members on all regular-priced OMF Lit titles on June 15 and 16

Thanks to Ida Torres and the rest of the OMF Literature online and marketing teams for the invitation, and to OMF Literature for book sales like these. You truly bless the body of Christ in ways you can’t imagine.