Divine Shelter Schools and John Waller!


Cross International has had the privilege of partnering with well-known Christian Recording Artist, John Waller (Fireproof Movie Soundtrack) to help raise support and awareness for the Divine Shelter Schools in Haiti. The schools provide educations and nutritious meals to devastatingly poor children. Check out some of the pictures from the trip! For more information on the Divine Shelter Schools, visit Cross International


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Hymn Throw-back


Its funny how every trend today seems to get recycled. The clothes our grandparents wore are once again popular, we’re using words like “rad”, and the church is returning to hymns. Now, if you attend a more traditional church, you may have never strayed from the hymnal, however for those of us attending more “contemporary” churches, we’re beginning to see that shift. Why is this? It’s like Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” And while that may seem a little depressing, it serves as a good reminder that although we as humans go through cycles, God is constant. He never changes. He’ll never leave us or forsake us, no matter how all over the place we may be. It’s a comfort to know that in our frenzied state, he is there, has been there, and is always there. I love the reverence that old hymns have, a sort of awe of God that demands respect and praises and glorifies him. One of my favorites is “How Great Thou Art.” There’s something about belting out “Then sings my soul, my savoir God to thee, how great thou art, how great thou are!” that makes you truly believe that no matter how bad your earthly situation may get, you know God is in control; and it makes you truly praise him.


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Fresh Awakening


I’ve been entirely wrapped up in Jeremy Riddles Furious album lately. It’s such a raw, simple, and earnest cry of worship. His song “Fall Afresh” is a perfect example of what I see worship heading back to – a simple plea for more of God’s spirit. The chorus of this song says: “Spirit of the living God Come fall afresh on me Come wake me from my sleep Blow through the caverns Of my soul Blow in me to overflow To overflow” It’s so simple, so honest. And it’s a trend I see happening in our churches today. Large scale, complex worship has its place, but I can’t help but believe that this simple cry reaches God’s heart in a special way. Happy listening! So good.


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Congratulations to Fireflight!


Harmony of Hearts is proud to announce that Firelight is the winner of the 2012 Song of the Year award! Each year Cross International gives a special award to the writer or music artist who has best conveyed the mission of our ministry in a current song. Our goal is to inspire more Christian artists to share this vital Gospel message to their listeners worldwide. Previous winners have been “Follow You” by Leeland, “Keep Changing the World” by Mike’s Chair, and “I refuse” by Josh Wilson. This year, Fireflight’s song “Proof of our Love” demonstrated the heart for the poor that we look for in contestants, and when the voting was over, emerged a winner. The lyrics in this song resound strongly with Jesus’ call to get out into the world and help the poor. The verses and chorus go: “So far away from the lives we lead each day. Love as voices hunger, and there’s no shelter from danger. All this love we talk about, talking won’t put food into their mouths. Don’t look away, don’t look away Why don’t we do something? Why don’t we do something? (If we say that we love them?) Don’t turn away, don’t turn away Let’s open up our eyes, bring our faith to life. (This is proof of our love.) This is proof of our love. Harder to see than the problems we perceive. We’re sickness, fast on our apathy and there’s no way to the suffering. All this hope we talk about, wishing won’t help those who go without.” Congratulations to Fireflight!


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Vulnerability in Worship: Opening the Soul


The idea of vulnerability has been on my heart recently. It seems in our culture we can become so obsessed with our image that we sacrifice our sort of “realness.” This leads to a bunch of hiding, hurting people within the church who are rendered useless when it comes to carrying out God’s plans. I can’t help but wonder what the church would look like if we would stop trying to convince each other that we’re perfect, have perfect lives, relationships, jobs, etc. Because we all know life is messy and out of our control. So what would happen if we were able to drop these facades and forget about our inter-denominational differences, and just worship God and obey his commands? What if we were vulnerable to God and to each other? This song by Jeremy Riddle is so simple, yet so powerful. The chorus goes: Spirit of the living God Come fall afresh on me Come wake me from my sleep Blow through the caverns of my soul Pour in me to overflow I pray you are blessed by the earnest heart behind this song.  – Briana B.


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Josh Wilson interview and “I Refuse” video is up!


In 2011, Harmony of Hearts was extremely excited to award Josh Wilson their Song of the Year Award, when his song “I Refuse” was voted the winner of the Song of the Year competition. We got a chance to sit down with Josh during his touring schedule and talk to him about the song and what inspired him to write it. But since he’s such a cool guy, and the song is so inspiring, we decided to show you instead of just telling you about it. Enjoy!


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Spiritual Worship


“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” Rom. 12:1 Chances are as Christians, we’ve come across this verse at one time or another. And for me, being a musician and worship leader, it can be easy to see the word “worship” and automatically think music. I mean, in church “worship” time is the first 20 minutes when the band is on stage playing, and ends right along with the last chorus of Mighty to Save. But Romans 12:1 doesn’t have anything to do with music; it has everything to do with service. It speaks to offering our bodies to God, so he can accomplish his will through us. Having this kingdom mindset where you know your body is not your own; that is the worship this verse is speaking to. And that’s all well and good, but how can we keep that in our minds constantly? Because for me, I forget things very quickly. It’s like that moment in your car when you’re singing sweetly along to your favorite worship song, and someone cuts you off. It sounds something like “Light of the world, you came down into – jerk! Learns to drive! – open my eyes let me…wait.” Its moments like that that can show so clearly what’s really in our hearts. The point is, this idea of spiritual worship is something we need to keep in mind on a daily basis. As we begin to strengthen our relationship and connection with God, we will be able to see this worship played out daily in our lives. This song is pretty old school, but singing it last Sunday at church reminded me how true the words are. Enjoy. – Briana B.


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Photos of our God providing


Working day-in and day-out for a non-profit, I come across photos and stories that normally I would never see. Stories of families moving from small, makeshift shanties into sturdy concrete homes. Stories about children receiving food at school, and how that one meal is all they’ll eat that day. Stories about children being saved from cholera thanks to a new water system being put in place. I don’t say this to boast about the work that we’ve done, I say it to remind myself that the world is so much bigger than the small problems we face in our lives on a day to day basis. And our God is mighty and awesome, never letting anything happen without his permission. Check out some of these photos of God providing, and celebrate with me the power of our God.  – Briana B.


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Josh Wilson receives his award – post 1 of 2


On Friday of last week, one of our Cross International staffers flew up to Clearwater Florida to present Josh Wilson with the Harmony of Hearts award he won during our song competition. We want to give another shout out to Josh for writing a song that so clearly reflects Jesus heart for the hurting and the poor! Stay tuned for next week’s post where we will dig into our interview with Josh and talk about what inspired him to write such a powerful song. Congratulations Josh!


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Love is…


With Valentine’s Day practically upon us, we see red hearts and cupid angels everywhere. I’m talking down grocery store aisles, on building windows, decorations on people’s houses, on twitter and facebook; pretty much everywhere. In today’s society it seems love seems to revolve around feelings. People fall in and out of love as quickly as the season change, touting ideas like “follow your heart” or “I just didn’t feel in love anymore.” And sure, when you feel passionately in love with someone it’s fantastic. The butterflies, the smiles, the happiness. But is that something you can sustain forever? And when things get hard, how will you respond? This fleeing feeling of love is not what the bible talks about when it talks about real love. I know we all recite this verse at weddings, but look at it again: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8b. If THIS was the kind of love that people had for one another, would divorce rates be so high? Would we have widows and single moms struggling for day-to-day survival? Would orphans be starving to death simply because they can’t find food? No. No, because this kind of love is selfless. It sacrifices. It cares.  – Briana B.


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