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AARON BUCKS

BEAUTIFUL THING

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As the frontman for award-winning worship band The City Harmonic, Elias wrote and sang songs like "Manifesto", "Holy (Wedding Day)", "Solid Rock", and many more. 

"Enough" is the first single from his debut solo album, The Work Vol 1.

Dummer says "We’re told all the time - 'you are enough, just as you are.' But, as far as the world around us is concerned, we’re only as valuable as what we’ve accomplished, our last big win, who we know… we're reminded of this every day.

"So, which is it? Are we 'enough' or aren’t we? Does anybody feel satisfied with the status quo? Somehow I doubt it. I realize that people are trying to say is that we don't have to prove anything to the world. That we're OK. I don't know anyone who seems to really feel that way, left to their own devices. Do you?

"Three years ago I helped to plant a church in one of the wealthiest counties in the country. I was shocked to learn that this wealthy county also has the 2nd highest teen suicide rate in the state. This tells me that our definitions of 'enough' and 'success' aren’t working. 

"We’re letting ourselves down. We’re letting our kids down. We need to do better.

"So, as I sat down with Jeff Johnson from Passion City Church and Tom Eccleshall from KXC London, we found ourselves wrestling with this very thing. And we quickly recognized that we're settling for too little! The good news is that Jesus is enough - we don't need to be!

"Colossians 1:15-20 reads: The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

"Jesus is the very image of the invisible God, present at Creation, and reconciling all things to himself! He’s got it covered!

"I’ve got nothing to prove. Not because I am 'enough' on my own, but because Jesus is enough for me - and for you.

"My new song, 'Enough,' is a worshipful song about exactly that. It's a song that I know I've needed to sing, a song my church has loved singing, and my hope is that it will be a song your listeners will love singing along to as they take on the world."

Many new year’s resolutions might involve technology and social media. Less screen time? More control on those retorts in the comment section? 

Unlike the 75 percent who abandon their new year’s goals in the first 30 days or the 92 percent who never accomplish them, religion and culture expert, national radio host and author Dr. Alex McFarland says Christians especially should get serious in 2019 about rethinking technology.

“Social media has changed the world in which we live,” McFarland said. “Think about 10 years ago—or even five—when we didn’t know what our friends were doing, where they were and what they were eating several times a day. Politically, it has radically altered the process, on both sides of the party spectrum and for both candidates and voters. Yes, social media can be uplifting and even a way to share the love of Christ when used correctly and with grace. But the phenomenon can also be very ugly. We spout barbs we would never say in person or to someone’s face. Social media puts up a veil where we feel invisible, even though our technological footprints are very real—and long-lasting.”

McFarland added that this may be the year for North Americans—and especially younger ones—to “keep it to themselves.” Reasons include privacy-compromising revelations and trust issues of social media giants, coupled with the fact that the views of conservatives and Christians are censored online.

“May 2019 be the year we focus inwardly on our relationship with God rather than outwardly on what we posted for the world to see,” McFarland said. “God gave us a voice to use for His glory,” McFarland continued. “With a communication vehicle as large and impactful as Facebook and the rest of social media, think of the positive difference Christians could make. Many are doing just that, but are we doing our part to turn this communication opportunity into a way to bring others into a relationship with Jesus? As we’ve seen with Facebook’s recent woes, we must be very careful how we use the powerful communication tools that are at our fingertips. Someone’s soul could depend on it.”

The author of 18 books with another on the horizon, McFarland is the creator of the successful Truth for a New Generation (TNG) national and regional apologetics conferences which have been in existence for over two decades and aim to help students, parents, youth pastors and community members to lift up this young generation, pray for them and empower them to stand strong in their faith.

On January 1, 2019, over 1 million people signed up for a new Bible reading plan on YouVersion. Today on Connections we talk with the creator of the popular app for advice on staying on track with our reading plans, and more. 

Bobby Gruenewald is the Pastor of Innovation at Life.Church. He's also the creator of the YouVersion app. Since its launch on opening day of the App Store it's been installed over 350 million times, and continues to gain between 4 and 5 million installs per month. He gives us some great tips on staying on track with reading our Bible. He also offers advice on staying on track with God's plan for our lives when we face obstacles.

Listen to the full interview here:

Do you feel disorganized? Whether it's your office, living space, or maybe even your mind - Susan Macaulay has some great tips to get organized and have a clean start in 2019. 

Macaulay is a professional organizer. She's also part of the Christian group, Faithful Organizers.

She says that if we start first with a vision of what we want it will make our task much easier.

Next, make sure that everything has an assigned 'home.'

Then comes what can be challenging for some; it's time to decide what you'll keep, what you'll give away, and what you'll throw out.

Often times getting organized can simply feel overwhelming. But the end result is usually a sense of peace and clarity.

Were you hoping 2019 would be the year you'd finally get in shape? Perhaps you've already hit a bump or two along the way, but it's not too late! 

Mike Reid is the owner and a trainer at Ignite Fitness in Red Deer, AB. He shares with us his journey to physical and spiritual fitness and will encourage you on your own journey.

Listen to the full interview below: