More worship music to sing throughout your day …

A few of our favorites for you to enjoy today:

Mandisa – Overcomer (

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Matt Maher – All The People Said Amen (

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Colton Dixon – Anchor (

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Rend Collective – My Lighthouse (

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Big Daddy Weave – My Story (

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Blanca – Who I Am (

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Chris Tomlin – Awake My Soul (

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Joy Enriquez – Shelter (

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Rhett Walker Band – Come To The River (

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Planetshakers – Nothing Is Impossible (

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Look for more great worship songs in the weeks to come. Hope these bless your day!

Six practical ways to share your faith this year

We share the gospel out of our gratitude to the Lord for what He has done for us. Finding open doors to that message is not always an easy thing. But, the more we integrate our desire to share with our everyday activities, the more we find opportunities to tell that story. Here are six clear ways you can be a witness in 2017.

  1. Purpose. Start with a clear statement of purpose. Write it out. It’s been found that you are 42 percent more likely to accomplish a goal if you’ve written it down than if you didn’t. We’re not suggesting that you make a goal about number of salvations or something – that is ONLY God’s job! But setting a goal for yourself in terms of numbers of people with whom you’ll share, how often you’ll intentionally place yourself somewhere to share, etc., will give you focus and motivation to get there.
  2. Prayer. It seems obvious, but we need to be actively praying both for those we know who need Jesus and for opportunities to share. Start today with a commitment to praying once a day for the Lord to bring evangelistic moments.
  3. Participate. Intentionally begin looking for activities that bring you in contact with people. Maybe it’s a volunteer situation, a class at your park district, baking cookies for a neighbor or getting involved in the PTA, there are a wide variety of low-level commitment activities that legitimately provide opportunity to interact with people who may really need to hear about Jesus.
  4. Play. What fun things can you do to invite people into your world? Maybe an open house, a baking party, a neighborhood potluck, inviting a neighbor to dinner in your home, connecting with your kids’ friends’ parents – people will see not only your hospitality and kindness, but they will feel more comfortable sharing with you.
  5. Products. Surround yourself with products that speak to your faith. Yes, I know, this can feel a bit over-the-top, but filling your day with scripture is a beautiful thing. Home decor, apparel and jewelry that speaks to God’s grace and love not only clearly tells others of your faith, it creates conversations. There are many stories of people being won to Jesus in a moment when they asked about an evangelistic slogan on a t-shirt or pillow or ring.
  6. People. The bottom line, obviously, is the two-fold “greatest commandment” – love God, love people. Responding to opportunities to demonstrate love and concern to people, especially those far from Jesus, will yield blessings. You may not have opportunities to use words, to paraphrase an apparently misquoted saying from St. Francis of Assisi. But your support will be a vehicle by which the Lord will continue to speak into that person’s life.

Now more than ever, opportunities for evangelism abound in our culture. At, you can find literally thousands of Christian lifestyle products that encourage and proclaim your desire to “Be the Kingdom” in 2017.

Zacchaeus, come down!

It’s a favorite story for kids – the “short man,” Zacchaeus, climbing a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. And the key, of course, is that Jesus knows – and He is pleased. From Luke chapter 19 …

There was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was not able because of the crowd, since he was a short man. So running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since He was about to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him,

“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today I must stay at your house.”

So he quickly came down and welcomed Him joyfully. All who saw it began to complain, “He’s gone to lodge with a sinful man!” But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,

“Look I’ll give half of my possessions to the poor, Lord! And if I have extorted anything from anyone, I’ll pay back four times as much!”

“Today salvation has come to this house,’ Jesus told him. ‘because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirt of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.

And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.”

Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Great winter reads!

Cold weather is the perfect excuse to stay indoors and curl up with a great book. Here are some recent favorites of ours …

2016 Christy Award winners:

Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

Secrets She Kept by Cathy Gohlke

Luther And Katharina by Jody Hedlund

Twisted Innocence by Terri Blackstock


2016 Christianity Today Book Award winners:

Making Sense Of God by Timothy Keller

Crossing The Waters by Leslie Leyland Fields

Saving The Saved by Bryan Loritts

How To Preach And Teach The Old Testament For All Its Worth by Christopher J.H. Wright

75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know by Terry Glaspey

The Confessions Of X by Suzanne M. Wolfe

The Promise Of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

The Listening Life by Adam McHugh

Ruined by Ruth Everhart

Unashamed by Christine Cain


2016 World Magazine Book Award winner:

Messy Grace by Caleb Kaltenbach


Yes, you can find them all in our marketplace – these and thousands more great Christian titles every day.




Four fun gift ideas for Valentine’s Day

Be different, be thoughtful and show your heart February 14th.

For several hundred years, people have celebrated Valentine’s Day as a remembrance of love, romance and thoughtfulness. It is a time to express your appreciation and affection.

For many of us, also, it can be a bit daunting. How do you continue to say, “I love you” in new ways each year – without breaking the bank and without the message getting stale? Let us throw four ideas out there for your consideration …

1. Apparel. This might be old hat (PUN INTENDED!), but there are lots of cool apparel items you can give that would be a hit – and you don’t even need to (GULP!) guess at his or her size. Here are a few of our favs:


The Plaid Cross Women’s Christian Hat is stylish, casual and fun. Our Black Stone Cross Scarf Slide elegantly adorns just about any outfit. His Armor Sport Socks go just as well with workout clothes as work attire.

2. Bible Cover. A cool Bible cover can not only protect a Bible, it can be an out-and-out fashion statement. Check these out:

Whether you’re looking for something formal, lovely or fun, we’ve got TONS of Bible covers to choose from. The Classic Luxleather Bible Cover is, well, classic looking and sturdy. The Teal Butterfly Bible Cover keeps your Bible protected and is a beautiful reminder of the Lord’s creativity in nature. And the Bee Happy Bible Cover is just fun and cheerful!

3. Journals and Planners. Sure, they’re practical, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a thoughtful and compelling gift. For example:

Joy Pink and Aqua JournalOur flex cover journal is gorgeous and practical. It will inspire creativity and joy, as you record thoughts, prayers, memories and ideas.

You’re Already Amazing Day Brightener Calendar is a perpetual calendar that is focused on providing inspiration, encouragement and reminders of the Lord’s presence throughout each day.

Unique, stylish and completely practical, the New Creation Green Journal with Charm is a perfect place to record all the lessons and experiences along the way.

4. Home and Garden Items. It might still be winter, but there’s always hope for spring to bring renewed life, sun and green. Home and Garden gifts bring beauty, and remind them you care. Here are a few to consider:

Colorful and fascinating, the Jesus Fish Suncatcher is a constant reminder of the Lord’s provision and beauty. 

The Special Someone Garden Stone is a beautiful way to commemorate those who have gone to be with Jesus.

Our Pewter Cross Wind Chime looks and sounds amazing all year long.


Not sure what to get? E-Gift Cards allow the recipient to choose what they’d like from our store. How about a $50 card he or she can use whenever they’d like?

For more great gift ideas, visit and search our marketplace of literally thousands of Christian items.


A little worship music to bless your day …

Here are some of the top worship songs in recent months, just to keep you singing on a cold winter day. Just because we all need a little music in our lives:

Lauren Daigle – How Can It Be (

You can buy the CD here:


Joey + Rory – The Old Rugged Cross (

You can buy the CD here:


TobyMac – This Is Not A Test (

You can buy the CD here:


Third Day – Our Deliverer (

You can buy the CD here:


Chris Rice – It Is Well With My Soul (

You can buy the CD here:


Mandisa – Stronger (

You can buy the CD here:


Travis Greene – Intentional (

You can buy the CD here:


Jesus Culture – Holy Spirit (

You can buy the CD here:


Tasha Cobbs – Fill Me Up/Overflow (

You can buy the CD here:



Keep singing! The Lord bless your day, dear friends.

1Eighty Apparel


Kevin Sumner’s grandfather was dying. Kevin had wrestled with how to share the gospel with him, but struggled for the words. Then, one day, while visiting, Kevin’s grandfather began pointing to Kevin’s t-shirt, wanting to know what it meant. Kevin was wearing a simple Christian t-shirt that day, but the question led to an opportunity to share the gospel – and ultimately, to his grandfather’s salvation.

That day, not only did Kevin’s grandfather receive the gift of eternal life, the seeds were being planted for what has become a ministry touching the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of people.

1Eighty Apparel Group was formed in 2004. Kevin says, “We want to produce a product people want to wear, want to share and that opens a dialog about Jesus for them.”

It is very much a family business, as well. Kevin’s wife, Sue, had been a marketing executive for a number of years, but left that position to be home full-time with their kids and to support the business.

“I’m not an entrepreneur by nature,” Kevin said. “And not a graphic designer. But God has had His hand on this venture from the beginning. I worked in retail for years, and that prepared me for this in a lot of ways.”

And the Lord has continued to open unforeseen doors for 1Eighty. In recent years, their shirts have been endorsed by a rapidly growing audience of well-known names, including Casting Crowns, Newsboys, Jeremy Camp, Kirk Cameron and Third Day.

“We’ve never asked artists, athletes or actors to wear our products,” Kevin said. “I continue to be humbled by God’s blessings in this,” Kevin said. “I am in awe that I get to do this.”

Tell us your story!

We’d love to hear about the ministry organizations you support or know of. Who are they and what are they doing, in Jesus’ name, in the world? Give us some web links too, so we can all check them out!

Bringing and keeping families together …

bethany-logo“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.”

(Psalm 68:5-6, ESV)

The mission of Bethany Christian Services is to “demonstrate the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by protecting and enhancing the lives of children and families through quality social services.” They are a great example of an organization actively caring for the “least of these” in a practical way. Pray for the children and families they work with, for their staff and for many more opportunities to place children in loving adoptive homes in the years ahead. To learn more about Bethany, click here.