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Posts tagged ‘Steven Curtis Chapman’

Head First – Faith.

Ryan Duncan

What does it mean to take a “leap of faith”? The expression has classically been used to describe a Christian’s belief in God and the confidence in what they cannot see. But is that explanation really good enough? Does it truly capture the fear, the uncertainty, the agonizing conflict of thoughts and emotions a person experiences in their quest to know God? To those on the outside, it would seem even Christians don’t understand the popular term.

For Fr. Stephen Freeman though, understanding a “leap of faith” is quite simple. Freeman recalls the first time he used the diving board while in swim class. He was eight years old, and as he stood on the edge of the high dive, his fear of the leap conflicted greatly with the encouragement of his swim coach. Freeman stated that he was not sure what eventually convinced him to make the jump, but the eons he experienced on that board were no different than his journey to discover Christ. In arecent blog post, Freeman writes,

I have had mid-air collisions with the existence of God, His goodness, His kindness, His caring presence, the Church, Tradition, Scripture, forgiveness, and faith itself (to mention only a few). And with every encounter, though preceded by grace, there is some moment of the leap. The leap itself is, for me, sheer terror. I dread the existence of God at least as much as I dreaded the surface of the water itself. It may sound strange to dread the existence of God, except when you consider that His existence means the possible return to the diving board on a regular basis. Practice has never made it any easier.              

Faith asks a great deal of the believer. Like a diving board, it sometimes leads us to the edge of insanity and asks us to take one more step. It is also why many choose not to pursue God, since they refuse to believe in something they see as absent. To the secular world, faith and ignorance can often go hand in hand. However, blogger Jennifer Maggio asserts that this is not true.

Maggio writes,

The very foundation of Christianity is faith. It takes great faith to believe God, that we’ve never seen, sent his son, Jesus, to die on a cross for us. Our faith is what gives us the assurance that even though we cannot physically see God, he is with us. Our faith gives us the strength to push through the difficult times when it seems that everything on earth is caving down around us.

For my part, I am reminded of an old song I used to listen to when I was in high school. The title of the song was “Dive” by Steven Curtis Chapman, and though it’s fallen out of popularity over the years, the message in the music has stayed timeless. Chapman paints God as a mighty river, and we can either take a risk and dive in or retreat to safety. The song’s chorus pretty much says it all,

I’m diving in
I’m going deep
In over my head I wanna be
Caught in the rush
Lost in the flow
In over my head I wanna go
The River’s deep
The River’s wide
The River’s water is alive
So sink or swim
I’m diving in.

*Ryan Duncan is the culture editor for

4 Reasons You Should Dance With Your Daughter.

Have you danced with your daughter lately?
Have you danced with your daughter lately? (Facebook)

When we go to weddings, one of my favorite parts of the celebration is when the dad dances with his daughter, the bride. I can’t wait to share this moment with each of my three daughters at their weddings.

I really like to dance with my girls and, throughout the years, have danced with them at home, at daddy-daughter dances and at other events.

So, if you’re a dad who has a daughter, don’t wait until her wedding day to dance with her. In fact, dance with her as often as you can. Here are four reasons why you should dance with your daughter.

1. It sets the standard. Long before their daughter’s wedding day, dads have an opportunity to set the standard for the kind of guy their daughter should look to spend the rest of her life with. Dads should show their daughters what they should expect from the boys they date and the man they eventually marry—she should expect a gentleman who honors her body constantly, holds her hand securely, protects her passionately, laughs with her joyfully, values her immeasurably and loves her deeply. She should see all of those things when you, Dad, dance with her.

2. It builds memories. One of the things I talk about in my book All Pro Dad is the importance of creating memorable monuments with your children. Memorable monuments are things you do with your children that create lasting and loving memories. Dancing with your daughter can be a wonderful memorable monument—moments that can leave you both laughing on the floor at the end of one song and crying in each other’s arms at the end of the next one. They’ll certainly be memories you’ll both cherish.

3. It says she’s beautiful. Twirl your daughter around, but also make sure to pull her in close and tell her she is beautiful and special. Like your wife, your daughter needs to hear that she is beautiful and captivating. Also, your little girl needs to know her beauty is not just outward, but that she also has a beautiful heart and incredible talents. Dancing with your daughter can provide you with a perfect opportunity to affirm her beauty.

4. It validates your love. As you affectionately embrace your daughter, you’ll be saying to her, “I love you more than you’ll ever know” … even if you don’t even say anything.

So seek and find moments to dance with your daughter now because, in the blink of an eye, she’ll be dancing with her husband.

Do you dance with your daughter? How do you find ways to do so? And if you both have a favorite song to dance to, please share it.



Mark Merrill is the president of Family First. For the original article, visit

#SaveSaeed: An International Push to Free an American Pastor in Iran.


Pastor Saeed

In addition to its legal and diplomatic efforts to freeAmerican Pastor Saeed Abedini, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is spearheading an international social media effort to raise awareness about his plight.

Award-winning musicians, Christian radio stations, and concerned citizens all across America and around the world are try to get #SaveSaeed trending on Twitter and encourage people to sign the petition at

Today, you can join Ricky Skaggs, TobyMac, Bart Millard (Mercy Me), Kevin Max (DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline), Steven Curtis Chapman, Skillet, Rhett Walker Band, Air1 Radio, and thousands of others to help #SaveSaeed.

The idea is simple. The more people taking about Pastor Saeed and calling for his release means the more international media, governments, and world leaders are willing to put pressure on Iran for his release.  It is the same idea that led to the release of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in Iran through Tweet for Youcef.

This is a very simple way you can help save the life of a persecuted pastor. Today, tweet the hashtag #SaveSaeed and urge your followers to sign the petition at  Share this blog with your friends on Facebook to encourage them to join this effort.

It’s just that simple and can make a huge difference in the life of a man whose only “crime” is choosing to follow Christ in an oppressive Islamic regime.

Tweet to #SaveSaeed today.


Christian Artists Present Free Concert in Honor of Sandy Hook Victims.


A Night of Hope & Healing

Christian artists TobyMac, Chris Tomlin, Mandisa, Laura Story, Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman and Building 429 will present a free concert paying tribute to the victims of last month’s Connecticut shooting tragedy. A Night of Hope & Healing is set for Tuesday, Jan. 15, from 6-10 p.m. at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn.

Authors and speakers Louie Giglio, Max Lucado and Mary Beth Chapman will also share during “a night of prayer and music” to honor the victims and families impacted in Newtown, Conn., where a masked gunman killed more than 26 people—including 20 children—Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

“The initial response to the event was overwhelming, with over 10,000 tickets going in just 30 minutes, and since then 2,000 more seats have been opened,” said Kevin Braun of Generation Exodus, the company organizing the event. “I think this speaks to how we as a nation want to honor and show our support to this community.”

A ticket is free but required to enter the concert. Click here for more information on A Night of Hope & Healing. For those unable to get tickets for the concert, it will be available Tuesday night via LiveStream.


Prayer Vigil Underway for Kids in Foster Care System.

(Guy Gerrard/Worldwide Challenge)

For all the prayer rallies, a movement to intercede for the fatherless is as dear to the Father’s heart as any.

The numbers tell a tragic story: more than 400,000 children are in the U.S. foster-care system—and 56 percent of them have been there for at least a year and in many cases even longer, according to the 2011 AFCARS Report.

What’s more, these kids move to new locations within the system an average of three times while in foster care, Foster Care by the Numbers reports.

From May 20-27, people across the world will join together to pray for children in the U.S. foster-care system that are waiting for permanent homes.

This year’s National Foster Care Prayer Vigil continues gaining momentum with more than 300 locations expected in nearly every state and 11 different countries, including China, Zambia, Uganda, Latvia and more.

During the week, people will gather to pray at various times during the day in coffee shops, parks, homes, churches and more.

“With hundreds of Bible-believing churches in the United States, finding a home for the children waiting to be adopted in foster care should be very possible,” says Paul Pennington, executive director of Hope for Orphans, a ministry of FamilyLife. “Our prayer is that there will be no waiting children in the United States.”

Focus on the Family, Hope for Orphans and Show Hope (formerly known as Shaohannah’s Hope, a ministry founded by award-winning musician Steven Curtis Chapman) are partnering together again for the 2012 National Foster Care Prayer Vigil. You can learn more about this initiative at


By Jennifer LeClaire.

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