All posts in "Awards"

Song of the Year – 2010


Press release (November 2010) (Pompano Beach, FL) – Cross International is pleased to announce the winner of the 2010 Song of the Year Award to “Keep Changing the World,” written by Mike Grayson, Seth Jones, and Jason Ingram and performed by MikesChair and LeCrae, from the self-titled release MikesChair (Curb Records) “Keep On Changing the World” won over some stiff competition in a year that many relief efforts were focused on Haiti from the January earthquake.  The runners-up are: Come Together Now (Music City Unites for Haiti) – written by Cindy Morgan, performed by Music City Unites for Haiti – a group of Nashville-area artists including Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Toby Mac, and others – and featured on the release Healing 4 Haiti (Integrity/Columbia) The Generous Mr. Lovewell – written by Jim Bryson, Mike Schuechzer, Barry Graul, Robby Shaffer, Bart Millard & Nathan Cochran and performed by MercyMe on their release The Generous Mr. Lovewell (Reunion Records). Fans weighed in on the award by casting ballots on-line at www.crossinternational.org/songoftheyear. “Keep Changing the World” placed first with on-line ballots, garnering 61% of the votes, with “Come Together for Haiti” and “The Generous Mr. Lovewell” placing 2nd and 3rd (26% and 11%) respectively. Chuck Burge, Director of the Music Outreach for Cross International, said the ministry is delighted to present the award to the band.  “With this energetic, upbeat song MikesChair is encouraging the church to look beyond itself in the U-S to serve ‘the least of these’ in the name of Christ.  We are thrilled to encourage the guys with this award.” Burge says the objective is not just to benefit the poor overseas but also the church in the U-S.  “Jesus Himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive.  Something happens inside of you when you give to someone who has no hope of giving in return.  You understand first-hand just a bit of what it meant for Christ to make Himself poor so that we could become rich.” The annual Harmony of Hearts Award goes to the creative forces responsible for the song which best represents God’s concern for the poor and call to serve them.  It is designed to spur songwriters and musicians towards creating songs that illustrate God’s compassion to the poor and the church’s obligation to serve them in Jesus’ name. HARMONY OF HEARTS Harmony of Hearts is the music outreach program of Cross International, which delivers food, shelter and hope to the poorest of the poor in Jesus’ name.  The goal is to incite mercy through music and that God would be pleased to spiritually revive and renew His people through worship and serving the poor. Harmony of Hearts provides music and worship material free of charge to local churches for a worship service as special music or an offertory.  Materials include music charts, song suggestions, DVD accompaniment, and audio Scripture readings by James Earl Jones that reinforce serving the poor.  While there is no cost for materials, we request credit given to Cross International by distributing a brochure, saying a word with the presentation, or printing our website in the bulletin. For information and interviews, contact: Chuck Burge / Cross International Phone:    (800) 391-8545 ext. 174 Email:    click here Web:      www.HarmonyofHearts.org Blog:     www.HarmonyBlog.org


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Interview with Mike Grayson of MikesChair (part 2 of 2)


Here’s the second (and final installment) of my chat with the namesake of MikesChair. Their song “Keep Changing the World” is one of the nominees for our 2010 Song of the Year (part 1 here). To listen to and vote for “Keep Changing the World” or the other nominees for our Song of the Year, click here. You can also visit our MySpace.com/HarmonyofHearts/playlists. +  +  + Describe the response to the song “Keep Changing the World.” It’s nice to see how people cling to the song as…motivation, maybe?  To just go out and do something.  So many people have the impression that they   have to move to Africa to change the world.  God is going to call certain people to do that, but we’re all called to do something.  Sometimes that’s in our own homes or own communities. Tell me a bit about how the band encourages others to “keep changing the world” at their concerts with MikesTable? Sure (laughs).  We like to joke that we are furnishing the house.  MikesTable is the umbrella idea of bringing awareness to need.  At MikesChair shows, when possible, we ask people to bring a canned food item which we donate locally – a local church or food bank.  We try to be sure that there is an awareness of the need in the community.  We also connected with Food for the Hungry, which brings awareness to the need globally.  So MikesTable helps give a platform for the conversation. Does a Scripture verse come to mind that concerns serving the poor? First Corinthians 13 says, “If I can speak in the tongues of men and of angels, then it’s basically nothing.  That whole chapter is what it’s all about.   If as a band, if as believers, if as people, if we’re not walking out the things we’re talking about the way we’re supposed to, then it’s all just noise.  Our prayer is that we’re not adding to the noise, but that in some way, we’re loving well. What’s next for MikesChair? We are working on our next album, getting in the studio.  We’ve done two mission trips over the past year – one to Peru and one to Guatemala – so there are songs that have influenced by those trips. What were your impressions from visiting Guatemala and Peru and what God is doing there among the poor? When you visit a foreign country, there’s a certain element of you think you are going to go over there and bless them, but in every situation, it’s the opposite.  These people have nothing – they don’t even have essentials that we need for life, and yet…  These people are so thankful, and they have nothing.  There’s this desire of:  God, strip me down to nothing and let me faithful for it. Congratulations on your nomination.  We’re looking forward to the new album. We are honored – thank you so much. +  +  + To listen to and vote for “Keep Changing the World” or the other nominees for our Song of the Year, click here. You can also visit our MySpace.com/HarmonyofHearts/playlists.


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Interview with Mike Grayson of MikesChair (part 1 of 2)


I caught up with Mike Grayson – the namesake of the band MikesChair – as the band was headed for a tour date in Ohio this fall. +  +  + What’s the short version of the band’s name? When we were students at Belmont University, we all lived in one dorm, but I was the only guy who lived on a different floor.  So I was basically living with the rest of the band in their different dorm rooms and had nothing down on their floor.  One day I came back from class and found out the guys had gotten me a chair so I would have something that was mine.  So everytime we wrote music, that was my spot.  So, for us, it’s a reminder of where we started, and how faithful God is to take us from there to the platform we have today. Did you expect it to take off like this? No, we didn’t.  We knew early on there was something special about it, but we never thought we’d be doing this full time eight years later. What prompted the writing of “Keep Changing the World”? It was in part inspired by when I lived in a low-income area of Nashville.  There was a church parking lot across the street that filled up with people every week.  For the longest time, I just assumed it was an outdoor worship service, but finally realized it was a food drive for the community.  Hundreds of people came for canned foods, bread…things I take for granted every day.  Once I realized that, it just broke my heart… The song itself is a celebration of people who are doing something.  Every concert, that is our goal:  to encourage and inspire people to take action.  As the church, we have an army that can go out and drastically change the world if people would just take those little steps.  “Keep Changing the World” is a kind of mission statement for us as a band, a reminder of what we want to accomplish and what we feel called to do.  Hopefully it serves as an inspiration for others as well. +  +  + To listen to and vote for “Keep Changing the World” or the other nominees for our Song of the Year, click here. You can also visit our MySpace.com/HarmonyofHearts/playlists.


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Vote for the 2010 Song of the Year


We will be awarding the song that best helps incite mercy through music soon, and we are looking for your input. The on-line poll is open here, where you can also listen to the songs in their entirety, see last year’s nominees & winner, and provide input. Please forward this via the Share/Save button on this page below (you can email, Tweet, or pass along in a variety of way this way). Your comments and suggestions are welcome & can be sent here.


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Come Together for Haiti


Another nominee for our 2010 Song of the Year Award is from Michael W. Smith and friends. From the press release: (NASHVILLE, TENN.) January 28, 2010 – Yesterday at Belmont University’s Ocean Way Studios, multi-platinum, GRAMMY and Dove Award winning artist, Michael W. Smith gathered a who’s-who list from the music community to record “Come Together Now.” The song, penned by Smith, David Mullen and Cindy Morgan – and produced by Bryan Lenox – was written to remind people of the need to help those in Haiti. “The crisis in Haiti has left us all trying to figure out how we can help,” shares Smith. “We wanted to create something that the community could support, for the greater good of those in Haiti. Everyone gave of their time: the studio was donated, the musicians donated their time and all proceeds from this song will go to designated charity/relief work through The American Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse. It’s incredible to be part of something that is going to help so many people.” Contributing artists included Toby Mac, Steven Curtis Chapman and a host of others.  View it below or here. Other nominees for this year here and here. Have a suggestion for a nominee?  Read the guidelines and let me know what it is.


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The Generous Mr. Lovewell by MercyMe


Here’s a candidate for our Song of the Year. Here singer Bart Millard explains the story behind the song by saying:  “It’s not just helping your neighbor, but (also) going the extra step:  If I truly love you well, then I can’t NOT tell you what’s changed my life.” Here are the lyrics & song stream from YouTube: Lyrics: He wakes up every day the same Believin’ he’s gonna make a change Never wonders “if” but “when” I guarantee he can find a way To reach out and make somebody’s day ‘Cause someone took the time with him He believes it’s the little things That make a great big change Hey, Mr. Lovewell, doin’ today What you do every day No matter how small Believin’ that it’s all the same Come on, Mr. Lovewell, oh we could use A few more just like you Who care enough to give this life away ‘Cause you’ve been changed The generous Mr. Lovewell loves today! It may be a simple “how do you do” The kind of thing that could pull them through A minute or two can mean so much Or maybe it’s the one across the street He’s asking if there’s anything they need ‘Cause they will know what’s by our love It may not be that much to him But it’s the world to them We all need more Mr. Lovewell… Resources: MercyMe homepage MercyMe MySpace


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Keep Changing the World by MikesChair


Here’s a contender for our Song of the Year award coming up this fall. This new group started as guys jamming in a freshmen dorm at Belmont University in Nashville. “The music isn’t the full extent of our purpose,” says band member Jesse Hale, “We are committing our time, effort and platform to helping those in need — making ourselves available to be the hands and feet of Jesus.” Read more about their commitment to “changing the world” here with “MikesTable.” Lyrics below  – you can visit the band’s MySpace page here. Something here is wrong There are children without homes But we just move along to take care of our own There’s so much suffering just outside our door A cry so deafening We just can’t ignore To all the people who are fighting for the broken All the people who keep holding on to love All the people who reaching for the lonely Keep changing the world Take a look around Before the sun goes out What’s lost can still be found It’s not too late now It only takes one spark to make the fire burn So reach inside your heart and let this be the start To all the people who are fighting for the broken All the people who keep holding on to love All the people who reaching for the lonely Keep changing the world I see you changing the world Every boy Every girl Step up! I see the sun coming up It’s a brighter day Let’s show the world that love is a better way So lend a hand join the fight ‘Cause time is ticking away To all the people who are fighting for the broken All the people who keep holding on to love All the people who reaching for the lonely Keep changing the world


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Coming together for Haiti


Michael W. Smith gets it. So do a lot of other Christian artists. Click above or here to view video. Lyrics: There is hurt there is trouble – there are tears on the ground from the ash and the rubble – there’s a cry ringing out you’ve been shaken by loss; you’ve been by shattered by fear Give me eyes that can see it – Give me ears that can hear When you hurt I’m hurting – when you’re bleeding I bleed When you cry I’m crying; I am down on my knees. When there’s nothing left standing, and there’s no reason why Lets go walking on the water to reach the other side Stretch your arms and help the brokenhearted Say a pray that change will come We will fight for the children who were hurting Lets stand as one and come together now. Be the light in the darkness – be the peace in the storm Be a shelter for someone when the rain starts to pour. Be the hands that bring healing and the hands that provide Let’s go walking on the water to reach the other side. Stretch your arm and help the broken hearted Say a pray that change will come We will fight for the children who were hurting Lets stand as one and come together now. It won’t be long – keep holding on Hold your head high; hold your head high Keep standing strong – you’re not alone now Hold your head high; hold your head high ~~~~~~ Download the song here ($1.29 via itTunes) or click on banner below.


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