Bracing for Blowback: Giving Christ’s Love to 8 Burned Iranian Children. part 1

You’ve probably heard reports about Jesus appearing in dreams to many of the Islamic faith, including Iraqi, Iranian, Saudi and Syrian clergy, and they are embracing Christianity in droves. So have I and it has me prayerfully pondering, “What is God up to here and what can I do to come into alignment with what He is doing? That is why I am compelled to share the story of 8 burned Iranian children.

First, I was reminded of the 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (King James Version) The phrase “not willing that any should perish” really resonated within me as the full meaning of its inclusiveness sunk in… meaning every human being who is/was upon the earth throughout the ages.

Wow. Very profound and gives me pause to reflect on how I should be treating others, especially those who hold different beliefs. First Corinthians 13 states “1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,a but have not love, I gain nothing. 4Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;b 6it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (English Standard Versions)

The ministry of Jesus was guided by “doing the will of His Heavenly Father.” If Jesus is reaching out to Muslims the shouldn’t we as the Church be doing the same? So God was preparing my heart to accept a shift in perspective. That is exactly why I am bracing for blowback. Because not everyone with whom I will share this opportunity will have the same mindset. I will share more next week in Part 2.

SnTradio.com has its fair share of requests for acts of charity. But I was ready to jump in with both feet when my friend and colleague, Jacqueline Gibb approached me with the plight of 8 burned Iranian children being advocated by Internationally respected Author and Human Rights Activist, Ghazal Omid. This is such a timely opportunity to give pure Christian love to some very needy people and make a powerful statement to refute accusations hurled at us as “Islamophobic” and “deplorable.” Watch the ABC Houston News Report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhWVi3wrG7c

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The first of these 8 burned Iranian children, Mohammad Shiroyeh and his father are going to be in the USA beginning in December for 7 months while Mohammad receiving reconstructive surgery at the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Please help us promote our publicity plans to utilize his arrival to get other children in need of reconstructive surgery what they need the most for Christmas. There is a GoFundMe campaign where donations are being accepted:

www.gofundme.com/8-burned-iranian-children

Plus, my friend and SnT Records recording artist, Caspar McCloud  and I have agreed to donate $2.00 from each CD sold of Faithfulness the Caspar McCloud Anthology 1988 – 2016 to help the 8 burned Iranian children. Order copies at http://www.sntrecords.com/. These make a great gift and support an even greater cause.Album cover featuring Caspar McCloud holding a blue guitar.

Btw, the 12 Days of Keeping Christ in Christmas music starts this Monday, December 12th.

Warmest Christmas Greetings and Blessing for the New Year. Jesus is the reason for the season.

Jesus is the reason for the season.

James

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus Music and Hot Dog Evangelism

Recently, I had the task to select special Jesus Music for the new Jesus Music Radio show, which will begin streaming Saturday nights on SnTRadio.com from 6 p.m. until Midnight all summer long in advance of launching 10710981_951480128202616_49497769441206796_nJesusMusicRadio.com in the of Fall 2016. Seeing classic Jesus Music album covers and hearing songs from groups like Prodigal and Fireworks caused me to remember The Harvest Rockfest which happened in June of 1982. It was held in outdoors on a Saturday in the parking lot of the Odeum in Villa Park, Il. The artists I remember being there wereProdigal, Marty McCall and Fireworks, Rick Cua, Denny Correll and DeGarmo & Key. I know there were one or two others that I forgot because I missed them when I left around Noon for Ohare Airport to pick up Denny Correll whom I had met on several other occasions and his band who flew in from Los Angeles. I was pretty psyched because I was finally going to meet a bass player from Love Song that I really admire1700317_origd, Jay Truax. He was playing with Denny Correll’s band.  Accompanying them was a drummer and lead guitarist who appeared to be LA session musicians.

The ride to the event was pretty uneventful with Denny chatting away as he caught me up on the going’s on in his life and was intrigued why a successful Christian retailer like me had left that for a risky career in Christian radio. I told him that “the Lord works in mysterious ways.” Once we arrived and unpacked, I finally had a chance to talk with Jay. The drummer pretty well kept to himself and attended to his prized drums… a snare and set of cymbals.

Midway through our conversation, the guitarist wandered over and joined in, telling us about the struggles of trying to make a living in the LA music scene. He spoke fondly of his young wife and brand new baby at home. There was a quiet desperation about him so I told Jay that I’d catch him later and concentrated on my attention on him. It was about 2 p.m. and the sun was bearing down on us so I asked if he wanted a bottle of water or something. He said, “No” but his body language told me otherwise. “It’s my treat. Have you eaten anything yet?”,  I asked. He shook his head from side-to-side. I pointed to the portable concession stand. “Come on, I’ll get you whatever you want to eat,” I said as we made our way from the side of the stage to the back of the enclosed audience area. “But you don’t know me,” he said incredulously. “I just want to share the love of Jesus with you. It is my honor to do this.”  So he ate his Chicago -style hot dog between sips of Coca-cola and he thanked me. Then we parted company as I went to visit with another friend backstage as Rick Cua was about to do his set. Together we marveled at the incredible slide guitar work of Dave Perkins.

At the end of Denny’s early evening set, as he gave an altar call, this guitarist laid down his guitar, leaped off the stage, and gave his life to the Lord in front of everyone without hesitation. I found out later that he had no money nor food for the day. The simple act of buying an obviously hungry musician something to eat was the tipping point where he had a personal experience with the Lord in the form of someone putting the gospel into action. I have never forgotten this lesson of hot dog evangelism.

The last time I spoke to Jay Truax a few years ago he reported that this man was a still a solid believer and serving the Lord in studio music industry on the West Coast. Amazing grace, indeed!

Glory to God, James

Speak Up and Be Counted.

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

So goes the Adlai Steveson adaption of an ancient Chinese proverb from an address he gave to the United Nations General Assembly in 1962. Darkness is growing and it’s time to light a candle by finding our collective voice, speak up and be counted in the national debate. But do so with love, mercy, and compassion or else risk being identified as a “hater” or even worse, as a terrorist.

Have you seen the video by Lisa Haven that reported FBI of recruiting Pastors and ministry leaders to report “suspicious behavior” in a manner like social workers and nurses do to report cases of neglect and physical abuse? Even so, it is time for Believers to rise up as one with unity and speak up for the Biblical principles and core family values that shaped moral standards in America until the 1960’s. My assessment is that it’s now or never. We can no longer remain silent because chaos will be our harvest if silence is what is sown, especially if we get more laws like the bathroom brouhaha (Can you imagine the treatment Steve Taylor could give this concept?) that is based strictly on a subjectivity that is designed to make people feel comfortable rather than objective laws designed to make people safe.  Kudos to Texas and North Carolina for speaking up.

I know it has been a while since my last blog, but some health issues and a hospital stay interrupted my life. Now we’re back on track and rarin’ help you speak up and be counted. The forced respite gave me plenty of time to think ahead and ask, “what if?” As a result, I had a major “aha” moment when I seriously pondered how to make SnTRadio.com the best Internet radio destination ever.

So we decided to give our listeners the opportunity to speak up and be counted… first in social media and eventually on-the-air.

We began by launching relevant and new pages on Facebook like VIEW FROM THE WALL with Greg Polla and adding the daily devotional MORNING MANNA to our SnTRadio.com fan page to spark conversation and provide valuable content designed to make you think. This is just the beginning. New high-touch programs are in development and will come to light in the Fall of 2016 providing for the truth to be told and hurting people to be helped.  Plus, SnT will make the act of listening, even more, fun and personal.

Thanks for allowing me to speak up and be counted. Now it’s your turn. Please share your comments below.

James Kevin Burkhardt

 

Jesus Music Is Different From Today’s Christian Music

Most people today have not heard any Jesus Music because it happened long before 2000 AD.

Blame it on the desire by so many programming today’s Christian radio and churches to be perceived as “relevant” but there is an unwritten rule not to feature any songs recorded last century during worship or on the radio. Many Jesus Music pioneers who are actively performing today get very little airplay and tend to draw small concert crowds. Yet when one hears Jesus Music, it is instantly recognized as a “Christian” song compared to some of today’s Christian Music.

Last week I was chatting on Facebook with Al Cox, who has just launched a new public group “CCM & Christian Rock of the 80’s & 90’s” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1713244062229156/) when he commented that at 42 years old, he never tires of the “classics”. “Neither do I” was my response when he said something that was so profound,

“Yeah, something about the music then that isn’t there now.”

Boom! Did that get me thinking. I’ve been listening to Christian Music since the mid-1960’s. I founded SnTRadio.com in part to curate all the Christian Music that I could get my hands on since the Jesus Movement and place it into an on-going and ever expand music archive online. My intention has been to educate and inspire future generations with an accurate musical timeline, which takes listeners all the way back to the roots. You can read through the majority of the hard-to-find Jesus Music portion of the archive while listening to SnT Radio here. Then Al added;

“Some of the stuff today including rock, really lyrically you can not tell if it is Christian or not. You knew it with, Dion, Dallas Holm, Carman, Petra, and others.”

Jesus Music artist Dion on the cover of his 1981 album, Only Jesus" is a side-view of his head and upper chest.

 

I think a couple of distinctions need to be made in order to fully understand the good, the bad and the ugly concerning the current state of Christian Music. First, in my opinion, there are only two distinct forms of Christian music being produced: one is strictly for commercial purposes (profit), and the second is for worship and edification of the church. All the major Christian labels are now subsidiaries of secular record companies like Sony and Capitol.

Vague lyrics or just the mention of Jesus in a pop song doesn’t make it “Christian” per se. On the other hand, Jesus spoke in many parables to effectively communicate the Gospel and describe the Kingdom of God. He did this so a mass audience would understand His teaching. Knowing when and how much to quote the Bible is as much a matter of discernment as is reducing God’s Word to a readable bumper sticker. Overkill never works well. It normally ends badly with the exact opposite of the desired outcome. Al the added,

“I saw a recent Christian rock title called “CoConut Dracula”. I don’t even think of horror things when I think of Christ. Yeah, that’s why I don’t listen to much new stuff.”

I fully get bands like Mute Math or Stryper, (Michael Sweet) or Switchfoot saying “we’re not a Christian band, but a band comprised of musicians who happen to be Christ-followers.” Even U2, one of the biggest bands in the world for the past 25 years started out playing sets dominate with Christian message songs for Christian youth rallies in Ireland until they elected to make a change in bass players who was not a professing Christian. Yet one of the highlights of every U2 performance is the song 40 (based on Psalm 40) that ends with thousands singing the chorus acapella as single spotlight tightly focuses on Bono’s crucifix that’s dangling from a microphone stand in the darken hall or stadium. In these days where non-Christlike activity (aka sin) is saturating the media, the Internet, and every aspect of society even a little light shines brightly.

The fact that a large segment of popular Christian Music is designed for radio with sales and profit as the driving force is not at all surprising because they have dividends to pay to their stakeholders. The key distinction is the primary motive for creating the music. One is for making money and profit. The other is to worship God on earth as it is in Heaven.

Modern worship from the likes of Hillsong, Bethel Music and IHOP-KC have all shared roots in common with the seminal worship & praise bodywork of Keith Green, Andrae Crouch, The Vineyard, Integrity and Maranatha Music from the Jesus Movement of the 70’s, The Vineyard and Integrity from the 80’s afterglow.

The influence of Morningstar Ministries musicians Don Potter and Leonard Jones combined with the teaching of Ray Hughes over the three decades have been a bridge from the old “worship & praise” to the now sound that is fueling the new uncompromised and spontaneous worship cherished by so many of the millennial generation. Giving glory to God and encountering the manifest presence of God is the driving motive behind the creation of this worship music. Pure, genuine, and authentic vertical lyrics that lead listeners into an atmosphere of Heavenly worship described in Revelation 4 and 5 is the goal.The songs and psalmists that break through into this lofty realm become the modern hymns churches sing with regularity.

My response to Al’s original statement was “I believe that it is a kind of anointing by the Spirit of God that was present during the Jesus Movement.” Even though there were “Christian” record labels back in the day the music was created in most cases to glorify God as a priority and make money if possible. It appeared that God honored and blessed it. When Christian Music became more of a business, Jesus Music faded somewhere along the way until a few went back to creating music in worship to God as in Heaven. So now you have the true spirit of the Jesus Movement sweeping through and stirring up a whole new community of worshippers to benefit the body of Christ. This is a real move of God and I’m expecting a revisitation upon this generation like we saw in the late 60’s and 70’s.

Written by James Kevin Burkhardt

Christian Music Playlist Secrets Revealed

Here’s the key to the SnT archive Christian Music sets.

SnTRadio.com is well-known around the world for its massive digitized Christian Music library archives that dates well back to the 1960’s. If you’re watching the metadata feed then occasionally you’ll see headings like SnT001a, SnT004wpa or Farrell & Farrell BP. Read on and I’ll not only tell you what they mean but give you the unique playlists contained within each heading. We can’t give you them all in one blog post but over the next several weeks, this blog will reveal the entire contents of the playlist. It will be published on Saturdays until our 8th Anniversary on May 26th.

In the early days of SnTRadio.com, the Christian Music content was delivered in pre-produced segments that were exactly 25 minutes long.

When SnT Radio.com launched from a guest bedroom in Burkhardt’s home on Memorial Day 2009, It had pre-produced about 100 hours of unique programming after Founder, James Burkhardt had spent over 200 house in his studio creating a listener-friendly mix of 500 favorite Christian songs according to independent research and published radio airplay lists dating back to 1978. Most sets consisted of 6 songs and featured songs from the 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s and 2000’s.SnTRadio.com went 24/7 by using a Widows Media Play populated by 24 of these sets and recycled randomly twice a day. Each day featured an artist who had their top 4 songs playing throughout the day. The rest of the day had 1 -2 minutes of commercials every 25 minutes. It all worked pretty well but there was concern that burnout would occur similar to the pre-taped Muzak programming from the 60’s & 70’s that played the same segments over and over again and was immortalized by Resurrection Band’s song, “Elevator Musik“.

resurrection band - mommy don't love daddy anymore

 

At first, there were just two classifications, SnT XXX and SnTXXXwpa. The former consisted of 5 or 6 CCM, Christian Rock or Gospel favorites spanning the years 1970 – 2009, hence Playing 4 Decades of the greatest Christian Music. The later (wpa) was a special SnTRadio.com feature… a worship & praise set designed to follow the Davidic worship pattern of outter court, inner court and Holy of holies. These wpa sets were scheduled to play after three of the general music sets played so that the listener would experience an intentional worship set every two hours.

Later, during the summer of 2010, the third category of an Artist BP or block party was added as part of an event promotion for the Wet’N’Wild Orlando waterpark. Artist BP’s are fan favorites because they feature 5 or 6 songs from the career of a popular Christian Music artist/band. It is almost like a mini “best of” presentation with an album cut or two thrown in to jar more sweet memories.

Listener Key #1

SnT001a

For Who You Are – Big Daddy Weave 2005

That’s Paradise – Steven Curtis Chapman 1994

Lead Me to Reason – Kerry Livgren & AD 1984

Forever – Third Day 1996

Stranger to Danger – Mylon LeFevre 1981

Day By Day – Godspell Soundtrack 1972

SnT002a

Cinderella – Steven Curtis Chapman 2008

Just One – Phillips, Craig and Dean 1997

You Know What To Do – Stryper 1982

How Many Times – Whiteheart 1986

Nothing’s Gonna Keep Me – Out of the Grey 1993

Diamonds/One Way – Larry Norman 1976

SnT003a

Testify to Love – Avalon 1998

Shine – Newsboys 1995

More Power to Ya – Petra 1983

For the Sake of the Call – Steven Curtis Chapman 1991

Never for Nothing – Margaret Becker 1988

Let Us Be One – Love Song 1972

SnT004wpa

He Who Redeemed – Higher Ground 2008

He Is Exalted – Shane and Shane 1985

Sing Your Praise to the Lord – Amy Grant 1982

Everlasting God – Lincoln Brewster 2005

Holy, Holy, Holy – Keith Green 1982

God of Wonders – City on a Hill 2001

 

More playlists will be revealed next Saturday

Written by James Burkhardt

Christmas Music is the original worship & praise music.

Christmas 2015 is almost here and everywhere you there is a certain anticipation in the air where Christians around the world prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. A highly distinctive brand of music accompanies this season: Christmas Music. Many of the traditional Christmas carols and hymns tell the story of Mary, Jesus, and Joseph rather well. But there is a reverence and awe in the lyrics and a majesty to the music that is unique from every other musical genre known to man. I identify this secret sauce as an “attitude of worship & praise.” Hence, my assertion that Christmas music is the original form of worship & praise.

Consider songs like “Angels We Have Heard On High” with its soaring “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” chorus, which is Latin for “Glory to God in the highest.” This a direct quote from Luke 2:14 of what the Angels sang to the Shepherds in the announcement of the birth of Jesus and is a great example of worship music… to ascribe glory to God. Handel’s Hallelujah chorus from his epic work “The Messiah” is another example of this attitude of worship found in Christmas music.Go ahead, remember your favorite Christmas carol or hymn in your mind. Isn’t there some part of the lyric or music that ushers in the Spirit of Christmas and has you experiencing a feeling of love and adoration? That is what happens when God’s presence inhabits the praises of His people in pure worship does.

At SnTRadio.com (spirit and truth) we offer a vast collection of Christmas music that promotes “worship in spirit and in truth” 24/7 for the 12 Days leading up to and including Christmas Day. Like all the music played on SnTRadio.com, this year’s Christmas collection has relevant music from the Jesus Movement up to today is featured. So there is quite a mix of favorites that have withstood the test of time combined with newer songs from artists like Chris Tomlin, Joshua Mills, Justin Rizzo, Jean Watson, and John Schlitt.

There are only a few days left  to hear this worship-filled blend of traditional and contemporary Christmas music. Enjoy! It’s our gift from our family to yours.

SNT Boost 12 Days of Christmas Post

 

 

 

The Response Gets It Right For Revival

Response-Logo-withtag 2

Imagine a meeting consisting of prayers and scripture reading of only 30-second duration.  There are no titles mentioned only first name introductions. The platform mirrors the general population… multi-generational and multicultural. No agendas. No pontification. No self-promotion. Only exalting the name of Jesus. Sound too good to be true and far-fetched? Then you’ll be pleased to learn more about “The Response”.

I recently had the privilege to interview Houstonian Doug Stringer who is organizing these statewide Solemn Assembly events based on a meeting described in Joel 2.  As a result of invitations by sitting Governors, they’ve already held such events in Louisiana, South Carolina and North Carolina and will hold the next one in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, October 24th at the Orange County Convention Center. Admission is free and no offering will be taken. But you must register in advance. Here’s a link to the 14-minute interview: http://www.sntradio.com/podcasts/the-response/

As most students of Revival history would know, Revival begins with very humble prayer and earnestly asking for God to send the Holy Spirit to move. Scripture promises in Joel 2:28 and again in Acts 2:17 a that in the last days, God will pour out his (Holy) Spirit on all flesh. Many voices have been saying that the “last days” may be upon us. World events are eerily beginning to mirror Biblical descriptions of the last days as recorded in Mathew 24 where Jesus spoke and in the Apostle John’s Book of Revelation.

Speaking of Revival History, this week Dr. Ray Hughes will be leading the 2nd Annual Revival History Symposium from Thursday, October 15th  to Sunday, October 18th in Cartersville, GA at the Rose Lawn Museum, the historic home of  19th Century Evangelist Sam Jones. Here’s the link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/second-annual-revival-history-symposium-tickets-17971733940  I heartily recommend that you attend this special four-day event. You will be informed, challenged and made ready for bringing revival to your sphere of influence.

So I am quietly excited that someone is finally getting it right in engaging Heaven in asking for a great and world-changing revival  here on earth. One of these days, the great revival will break out somewhere in America as it has in other nations where people have humbled themselves and pray.

Blessings,

James Burkhardt, Founder
JamesBurkhardt