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Happy New Year 2014!

I just wanted to take time out to wish you a Happy New Year and to let you know about some of the happenings in my music ministry.

RADIO PLAY
2013 was a great year as a number of singles off of “The Start of a New Life” received terrestrial and internet radio play. Currently, the singles “New Life,” “Shema Yisrael,” “All That We Need,” “I Will Rejoice,” and “None But Thee” get regular play at http://www.christiantraxalive.com. Check them out (always great music, 24/7), and they have a nice Itunes app.

The worship team at LIFEhouse Church in Northridge, CA (http://www.lifehouse.la) continues to grow. The collective ages on the team run from 15-70… what an awesome way to worship God, bridging the age gap, through the gift of music!

NEW ADVENT SONG
I released the Advent song “Tender Mercy” on December 6, 2013. It is available on Itunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/tender-mercy-zechariahs-song/id776881943)… as a special offer to my “street team,” if you leave a review of my CD “The Start of a New Life” at the Itunes link, below, let me know by emailing me the review at rob@robreed.com, and I will send you a download code to download “Tender Mercy” for free.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-start-of-a-new-life/id563577234

What a blessing “Tender Mercy” has been this year! A few churches throughout the country (and one in Canada) used “Tender Mercy” in their advent services. Here is a church in Illinois that used the song for a youth group “blacklight” drama.

PLANS FOR 2014
Two projects are on the burner for this year, which might merge into one… a regular CD of original worship music and a Christmas CD near the end of 2014, featuring “Tender Mercy.” I also wrote a song this Christmas season (“Christmas is Christ”) which is bound to appear on that CD, also. You can hear a demo of that here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1fF7AoQW0w

SOCIAL MEDIA
Subscribe to my various spots on social media:

Blog – http://www.robreed.com
New Release Tuesday: http://www.newreleasetuesday.com/artistdetail.php?artist_id=4096
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rob-Reed-Music/17700233565
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/robertreed
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/liftaloft
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/robreedmusic
MakerofMusic: http://www.makerofmusic.com

Thanks for all of your support!

Blessings and wishes for a wonderful 2014,
Rob

 
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Check out this Blacklight Drama of “Tender Mercy” performed by the First Presbyterian Church of Urbana Youth Group

What a great job these young people did using my song “Tender Mercy (Zechariah’s Song)” in a manner that I never imagined.

 
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One more for Advent! Light One Candle To Watch For Messiah – An Advent Hymn

I have said it before and it bears repeating for this blog post that because I became a Christian just over 7 years ago, an “old Christian hymn” for me is anything off of Chris Tomlin’s Arriving. So, I am always greatly appreciative when a brother or sister who has been in the faith much longer directs me to a “real” oldie but goodie. This is one of those songs.

“Light One Candle To Watch For Messiah” is an Advent hymn based on an old Yiddish folk song, made popular (I believe) in churches in the 1980′s. I tried to “hip” up the oldie but goodie a bit by adding an anthemic chorus (with the intention, of course, of getting the song stuck in your head). I hope it works. Enjoy.

 
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12 Songs For Advent

This season, I have become a lot more appreciative of the meaning of Advent and have searched out for relevant advent songs (and arrangements) to present to the church. Particularly, I have been focused on the concepts of light and of waiting.

If you are a worship leader who has been struggling to do the same, I hope that this will help you find that new song for your congregation as we help the church to prepare the way.


1. O Come Divine Messiah – Robbie Seay and Jennie Lee Riddle – Download

2. Leave A Light On – Matt Maher – Download

3. O Come, O Come Emmanuel – David Crowder Band – Download

4. Everlasting God – Chris Tomlin – Download

5. Tender Mercy (Zechariah’s Song) – Rob Reed – Download

6. Come Thou Fount – Audrey Assad – Download

7. We Are Waiting – W. Zachary Taylor & Chris Kline – Download

8. A Strange Way To Save The World – 4Him – Download

9. Breath Of Heaven (Mary’s Song) – Amy Grant – Download

10. There Is A Light – Delirious – Download

11. A Baby Changes Everything – Faith Hill – Download

12. Prepare Ye The Way – Michael W. Smith – Download

 
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Introducing Tender Mercy (Zechariah’s Song): A Song For Advent

This song has appeared here before, but I am finally releasing the mastered studio version to the public… The story surrounding the song is basically this: my Pastor casually opined in a sermon: “Mary gets a ton of songs about her. Why doesn’t Zechariah get his own song?” I obliged.

Essentially, the song is the entirety of Luke 1:67-79, crafted to work in the structure of a song. I hope that it lifts you up during this Advent season.

If you would like to play along, download the lead sheet.

If you’d like to support my music ministry, download the song from Itunes, where it should reside in the next week or so. Thanks!

 
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No Jewish Evangelism? Or, Why “Real” Jews do not try and convert others

A friend recently posted her frustration at a Messianic Jew who issued a press release announcing that his son was missing. She viewed this as “disgusting” and as an attempt to proselytize to Jewish people, adding: “Real Jews do not try to convert others. Messianics are a different story. They aren’t Jews, but they still have some Jewish guilt, so they are afraid to say they are Christians.”

Logan-Tavelli1I submit that the reason that Jews don’t proselytize is because they are not encouraged to in the Old Covenant! The Chosen People are not told to invite others in within the Old Testament.

It is a source of great frustration when, like here, I am reminded of how Christian proselytizing is so negatively viewed by many non-believers. Granted, when we Christians go into places where we are not wanted, we are inviting criticism. Still, I pray that folks like my friend, above, can see past our failures as Christians and realize what evangelism is all about.

It is not about telling someone they are wrong. It is not about making another feel badly. It is not about being in your face. It is simply about leading one who does not believe to the one person through whom salvation is guaranteed: Jesus the Messiah.

And, the greatest thing about it all (particularly how it relates to my Jewish friends and Gentile friends)? It is only in Christ where BOTH Jew and Gentile are reconciled! It is Old Testament Jewish dogma that says that only Jews are the Chosen people, but it is New Testament Jewish (yes, it is Jewish) dogma that says that Gentiles, too, can be sons and daughters of God.

So, perhaps the saddest part of this for me is seeing my friends and neighbors who are blind to the love behind Christian proselytizing because although we are called solely to point the finger to the one place where a relationship with God is not an exclusive, members-only country club, we so often fail. The message is and always has been: It is in Christianity where a relationship with God is an open door for ALL!

During this Christmas season, my prayer is that a few more of my non-believing friends can see past the world’s rhetoric and past our failures as Christians and, instead, see the real purpose… and subsequently, the reality of God’s will for all of His creation. In Jesus’ Name!

Ephesians 2:11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Amen.

 
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Obamacare, Blessing or Curse: One Family’s Look

obamacareAfter the dust had settled from the government shutdown, I decided to look into the Affordable Health Care Act myself… specifically, CoveredCA since we are California residents.

I heard the rumors about websites not functioning correctly, and sadly, I was not an exception. After seven or so attempts, where the site stalled just after I successfully signed up on the site, I did a google search and discovered that CoveredCA has a problem with Google Chrome.

Funny enough, all things Apple seem to work with the site, and I was able to use the site without problem using Safari browser on my PC.

I was incredibly pleased with the results and signed up right away.

Currently, my family pays just over $940/month for health insurance through my wife’s employer for two adults and a child (coverage for me represents the lion’s share of our payment).

After reviewing what “Obamacare” had to offer, we have decided to keep my wife and son the same; however, I will go through CoveredCA. Here is why…

The monthly cost for my coverage under the Affordable Health Care Act? Approximately $360/month. And, most importantly, this is without any need-based reduction. This is the standard for anyone who does not qualify for government assistance.

Our total for the family, including my wife/son’s coverage? $440/month.

What are the terms of my insurance? All pretty good.

Details: no deductible, 1 no cost physical per yr, primary care visit copay $20, $40 urgent care co, $5 generic med copay, $20 lab testing copay, $40 xray copay, (HMO) $250 copay outpatient surgery and $250/day hosp stay up to 5 days or PPO 10%, $15 preferred brand drug deductible, $4000 max out of pocket annually

Obamacare_PoisoncareWe will be saving $6,000 in 2014. Even if there is a few hundred dollar a month increase in 2015 as was told to me by a friend, this is still a large amount of savings.

So, I say don’t knock it until you try it… and if you currently have solid insurance and have not been told it is being restructured or cancelled, I hope that your rates don’t go up too much.

Why the big savings? I suppose this could be attributed to a few things. One, it could be that we were just lazy to find a much more affordable health plan for our family. Or, two, maybe the Affordable Health Care Act is all that it has been touted to be.

I encourage you to apply and share your findings in this blog post!

 
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Stop using the phrase “reproductive health” to explain abortion

The definition of “health” is “the state of being free from illness or injury.” Plenty of quotes today regarding Governor Brown’s signing of abortion bill AB 154 (allowing non-physicians to perform “suction” abortions in the first trimester) that are using the phrase “reproductive health.”

Says Kathy Kneer, CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California: Brown “has always been a champion for women’s reproductive health, and he’s proved it once again.”

Getting pregnant is not an illness. It is not an injury. Find another phrase, please. To blend the phrase “reproductive health” with abortion is downright disgusting, whatever your opinion on the subject.

 
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It wasn’t a speech! It was a sermon!

On the 50th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. “I Have A Dream” sermon.

 
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When it comes to religion, Christianity is as liberal as it gets

No, I am not talking politically. Just liberally.

From a liberal perspective, isn’t a religion that is open to all, that is easy to become a part of, and that is easy to leave behind about as liberal as it gets?

liberalconservative1I was reminded of this thought as I was sitting behind two orthodox Jewish guys at a recent Dodger game. They were wearing their yarmulkes under their Dodger hats, and I wondered to myself: could my friend Lance, here, sitting next to me just put on a yarmulke and proclaim: “I’m Jewish!” No, he cannot.

Deuteronomy 14:2, says God:

For you [the Jews] are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

Can my friend Lance, here, were he a Muslim declare: “I’m going to leave my Muslim faith without fear of physical harm to myself and/or family?”

Qur’an (4:89) – “They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them”

Bukhari (84:57) – “[In the words of] Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.’”

What would my friend have to do to become Christian?

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

That’s it.

And who is eligible?

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

I wonder if the religious right realizes that they are pretty “left,” too. :)

(credit to my Pastor for the last thought)

 
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