Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years Eve!

Here are some tips to actually keeping your New Years' Resolutions:

1. Be realistic - Pick achievable goals.

2. Celebrate the successes - When you celebrate your accomplishment, you reinforce your determination to continue.

3. Write them down - You are far more likely to keep your resolutions when you simply write them down.


Can you believe it has been over eleven years since we were introduced to I Can Only Imagine? It was a game changing, cross-over, worshipful, heartfelt hit that sent a long touring worship band out of obscurity and into the stratosphere! And even with the incredible success MercyMe has had over the past decade - you will be hard pressed to find a more humble group of guys who are genuinely interested in leading every audience before the throne of God.

These guys have been leading the Body of Christ in worship ever since they formed in Greenville, TX back in 1994! Since their debut they have been responsible for 22 number one radio hits!

Latest Album: The Generous Mr. Lovewell

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Years' Eve is a weird holiday. I've never really had one of those quintessential movie-like New Years' where everyone cheers at midnight while at some fancy black tie party and then kisses someone around them. That always seemed as awkward as mistletoe to me.
Usually I was at a church event, or a friend's house or just home in my pajamas. One year I actually had a girlfriend break up with me New Years' Eve afternoon. Fortunately I had a really great friend who invited me over and we watched movies all night so that I wouldn't feel so alone.
Ever since I've been married, New Years has much improved. I always have someone who I am excited to spend the next year with there by my side. Still, usually we are in our pajamas and I almost always have to wake her up after she drifts off to sleep around 10:45. The sentiment of ringing in the new year is a great mirror of Grace. The idea of a fresh start is enticing to all of us fallen beings. But a calendar doesn't provide that forgiveness that we all know deep down we need. That can only come from Jesus.
So celebrate the dawn of 2011! Whether you will be alone or with a group of friends or a spouse - thank God for the gift of a new year. As Irving Berlin once said, "..count your blessings instead of sheep, and you'll fall asleep counting your blessings."

Brenton Brown

Brenton has an unusual story. He grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. Studied in Oxford (Rhodes Scholar), England. And now lives in Malibu, California. While studying in England, Brenton Brown became one of the young worship leaders for the very first Vineyard UK. But just when life seemed to be roaring down the highway of success, Brown fell ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and was forced to leave his position as worship pastor and take a sabbatical in his South African home town. It was there that he married Jude - also ill with CFS.

Brenton then recorded and released his album Everlasting God. Realizing that a change in pace and lifestyle might assist their recovery in 2005 the Browns reluctantly left London and their home church of Holy Trinity Brompton for California. Since then they have been welcomed into the Horizon family of churches and have traveled across the States and beyond leading worship in churches as far afield as Sweden and Korea. 2008 saw the arrival of a baby daughter named Bella.

Songs By Brenton Brown That You Probably Know:

Lord Reign in Me
All who are Thirsty
Come Now Is The Time
Everlasting God

Latest Album: Adoration

New Album: Our God Is Near (Coming in March 2011!)


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What Old Testament word means "anointed"?

A: Messiah

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

There's not much time left in 2010.
Do you have any goals scheduled for this year that you can still accomplish?
Sure - losing 20 lbs isn't going to happen in 56 hours, but what about cleaning out that closet or garage?
You could still do that this year!
Perhaps you need to take a load of stuff to Goodwill - load up the car!
Don't delay if you want to end 2010 with a clean slate!

Sixpence None The Richer

There weren't many movies made in the 1990s that did NOT feature Sixpence's mega-hit "Kiss Me." It was a massive crossover success that the band utilized to play for a broader audience than their bluesy Christian roots would have normally ever allowed. Toss in some great Christmas music, several Christian radio hits and plenty of awards and nominations and you get a career that has quietly been impacting lives for nearly two decades.

Their quirky name comes from a passage in CS Lewis' Mere Christianity. Leigh Nash explained it on the Late Show with David Letterman:

It comes from a book by C. S. Lewis called Mere Christianity. A little boy asks his father if he can get a sixpence—a very small amount of English currency—to go and get a gift for his father. The father gladly accepts the gift and he's really happy with it, but he also realizes that he's not any richer for the transaction. C.S. Lewis was comparing that to his belief that God has given him, and us, the gifts that we possess, and to serve Him the way we should, we should do it humbly—realizing how we got the gifts in the first place.

Latest Album: Strange Conversation (due out in 2011)


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What Old Testament word means "anointed"?

A: No correct answer yet ... we'll try again tomorrow!
(The New Testament word for "anointed" is Christ)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So ... what'd you get for Christmas?

That was the perrenial question upon return to school after Christmas break. That was the key indicator of how good a break you had. That question evolves into the adult question of "How was your Christmas?" but it still pretty much means the same thing. Just add in curiosity about travel or any particularly hystical or dramatic family happenings.

So how was your Christmas?

Big Daddy Weave

BDW has been around for a decade now - and a fast one it was! Their latest release What Life Would Be Like is the band's fifth studio release! This album in particular is all about communicating their hearts in a straightforward, raw way.

“We all grew up in church,” Mike explains. “That is awesome, and I’m thankful for it, but there is also some baggage that comes with that. We grew up hearing people talk about grace, but there seemed to be an unspoken law that said, ‘but you also have to do this, this, this, this, and this.’ Nobody ever said it out loud, but I saw how people who didn’t do ‘this, this, this, this, and this’ were treated. Now truly, you will know a tree by its fruit, but that’s not grace. With What Life Would Be Like we are ripping up our old expectations to get to a place where we can receive the heart of God.”

Big Daddy Weave is:

Mike Songwriter/Lead Vocals/Guitar

Jeff Drums

Jay Bass/Vocals

Joe Saxophone/Keyboards

Jeremy Guitars/Vocals

Latest Album: What Life Would Be Like


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What substance was usually used for anointing in Israel?

A: Olive Oil

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

This year I have watched far fewer Christmas movies and specials than is usual for me. Probably because I've never before had an 11 month old to chase around. I sort of miss it, to tell the truth. I didn't watch Elf or A Charlie Brown Christmas or any of the Tim Allen Santa Clause movies. I did catch a few Christmas episodes of my favorite shows, but I missed out on Home Alone and Christmas Vacation!

Those movies don't define Christmas for me, of course. But Christmas is special because it is an ever evolving collection of Christmasses past. Those memories (which we see through rose colored glasses) paint the picture of what Christmas truly means to us. For me, it is a compilation of experiences with friends and family. That is what I most love about the season. I love the memories of people I love. Jesus being first and foremost on that list - but it isn't wrong to love Christmas for more than the birth of Christ. May you have a marvelous Christmas. Know that you are loved by your Savior - and your family here at Joy.


Da'dra and Steve were born and raised in Columbus, Ohio; two of nine children in a strong, church-going family where musical gifts were taken as a given. When they were hardly more than toddlers they were already singing with their extended family group, the Crawford Singers, which included their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins on all vocals and instruments, performing in and around the Columbus area.

Anointed has always been renowned and celebrated for its singular gift at breaking down barriers of genre, styles and markets while building a broad, multi-ethnic following in the process. The group has won seven Dove Awards, two Stellar Awards and three Grammy Award nominations. Brother and sister Steve and Da'dra still helm the group, Nee-C and Mary having left in the early 2000's. Their latest album Now Is The Time spotlights their songwriting like never before. Except for a tribute recording to Andre Crouch - the entire album was written by the duo.

Latest Album: Now Is The Time


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: According to Jeremiah's vision, where would the new Covenant between God and man be written?

A: On men's hearts! (Jeremiah 31:33)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Eve-Eve-Eve!

Just a couple of days left until the big day. And then the misery that is January ...

I wonder if ABC Family will launch a digital cable channel called 365 Days of Christmas?

Shannon Wexelberg

Shannon grew up sitting at the piano with her grandmother. She was a natural and by the age of 11 she was up front playing piano for her church praise team and writing and singing her first worship songs. Aside from classical training, her piano teacher had a heart for worship that she passed on to her student. Her family also started paying regular visits to a nursing home in their area over dinner hour, singing for the elderly – a precious & most gracious audience. It was Shannon on the piano, her Mom on guitar, and her Dad, brother, Mom and herself on vocals.

Her passion for worship grew as she attended Christ for the Nations and began writing, playing piano and leading worship for their annual worship recordings and morning chapels. Shannon also traveled several summers with CFNI's 'Living Praise' - a music ministry group - and later went on staff in CFNI's music department, arranging and writing for their recordings and directing their praise band. She has also been a member of the Maranatha! Praise Band and taught as a clinician for their Worship Leader Workshops. She is grateful to have had the chance to write and record three worship albums of her own as well as to have written for and recorded with many other individuals and ministries including: Paul Baloche, Jared Andersen, Charles Billingsley, Scott Krippayne, The Desperation Band, The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Integrity Music, Christ for the Nations, Discovery House Music, RBC Ministries, Word Entertainment, Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and many others.

Christmas Album: Love Came For Me

Latest Album: I Have A Song


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What smooth-skinned man disguised himself to pass as his hairy brother?

A: Jacob (Genesis 27)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It's just a few days away and my stocking is taunting me.

Want a free Chick-Fil-A Spicy Chicken Biscuit? Of course you do!
Click the pic to find out more!

New Release Tuesday:
What's New in Christian Music?

Nothing new until 2011, but here's a glimpse at what is coming next year...

Kristian Stanfill, Brandon Heath, Hawk Nelson, Hillsong United, Josh Wilson, Tenth Avenue North, Sixpence None the Richer ... and that's all before taxes are due!

Jason Gray

Jason Gray is from Minnesota (Ducks fly together!). It's cold in Minnesota. He spent six years in youth ministry before going into full time music ministry in 1999. Jason grew up with a stutter and has used his speech handicap as a testimony of how God can use anyone to do anything, even when we don't think we can be of use.

Besides writing and performing his own music, he has collaborated with many other artists including Sara Groves, Andrew Peterson, Joel Hanson, Jason Ingram and more! (Sara and Joel are also from Minnesota) Jason and his wife Taya have three children and live in southern Minnesota (where it is is still cold, even if they call it the "south").

Christmas Album: Featured in Bethlehem Skyline Vol 1 & 2

Latest Album: Everything Sad is Coming Untrue

Want More?

Scriptural Pursuit

Q: Who suggested to Moses that he appoint judges so that he would not have to judge all cases himself?

A: Jethro, Moses' Father-In-Law (Exodus 18)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Around Christmastime I find myself fighting between hoping for the future and wanting time to slow down. It is so very hard for me to live in the moment. Last night Elena and I watched The Nativity Story for the first time. It was very good. Aside from a few extra-Biblical plot devices and Catholic traditions, it was remarkably well done. At the end of the movie, when Jesus was born and the shephards and wise men show up to worship the King, the filmakers did a great job of capturing the look of awe on Jospeh and Mary's face. It was that human touch that made the movie special for me.
As a relatively new dad (my daughter is 11 months old), I remember how time seemed to stop as I looked at my baby's face for the first time. I was overwhelmed with emotion just imagining what it must have been like to look at Jesus when he was just a newborn baby. How much hope, awe and fear? How much love, peace and joy? One thing we want to always do at Joy is invite you to be in awe of God. Christmas is a wonderful cultural celebration, filled with lights, music, family and friends - but it is also a sacred time. Imagine the baby Jesus. Heaven's hope, as fragile as any newborn child. Thank you, Jesus.

Wayne Watson

Wayne Watson By The Numbers:
23 #1 radio hits!
12 Dove Awards!
2 Grammy nominations!
Performed on the Tonight Show with Sandi Patti
Featured on Touched By An Angel

Weird But True: Wayne originally planned to pursue a career playing baseball

Christmas Album:
King Of Kings

Latest Album: Even This

Want More?

Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What bird did John the Revelator hear crying in a loud voice, "Woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth"?

A: An eagle (Revelation 8:13)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmastime is here. Happiness and debt.

If the holidays has you overspending, be sure to listen daily to Money Life! 2:30 PM weekday afternoons, just before the Joy Ride! It is practical, Godly, and encouraging.


Avalon has been a Christian music staple for over 15 years. To their credit: 21 #1 radio hits, 6 Dove Awards, 3 Grammy nominations and even an American Music Award! They could just put out greatest hits albums and tour, singing old songs for another 20 years - but noooo, they went out and nabbed uber-producer Ian Eskelin to breathe some new life into their music. That proves that these singers are artists and performers committed to growth.

The group has featured many different singers over the years:

Current members

* Janna Long
* Greg Long
* Jeremi Richardson
* Amy Richardson

Former Members

* Rikk Kittleman
* Tabitha Fair
* Nikki Anders
* Cherie Adams
* Michael Passons
* Jody McBrayer
* Melissa Greene

Christmas Album: Joy
Latest Album: Reborn


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: In what body of water was Jesus baptized by his cousin, John?

A: The Jordan River (Matthew 3:13)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas food is wonderful. It's rich, sweet, and abundant!

Today I was greeted with a taste of the fantastical: a dark-chocolate, bacon candy bar. Yes. Bacon.
It was amazing and also a little bit gross.
Still, I find myself wanting more ...

David Phelps

David Phelps comes from a Mayberry-esque childhood. Raised in Toball, TX (outside of Houston) by a CPA and an English professor, David experienced a protected community fueled childhood filled with school and church. His parents nurtured music in their children. David performed for his high school talent show as a freshman, and his natural ability to captivate an audience sent him propelling into an arts driven life.

He earned a music degree from Baylor University and then snagged a spot in the legendary Gaither Vocal Band. David Phelps continues along his journey hoping to be more and more like Christ. He records, performs and spends as much time with his wife Lori and their four children. David also got to be on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Christmas Album: Christmas With David Phelps

Latest Album: The Best Of David Phelps

Random Fact: David Phelps has performed in both Carnegie Hall and the White House


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What prophet, who lived in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile, had visions of a flying scroll and a gold lamp stand?

A: Zechariah

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Have you ever been in Sam's during the holidays? I imagine Costco would provide a similar experience. They bump up the samples! It's like a Christmas feast in a series of small plastic cups. So if you get hungry while you are out doing a little Christmas shopping - grab that Sam's Club card and eat hearty!

Peder Eide

For over a decade, Peder Eide has led Christ-centered praise and worship for youth conferences, festivals, camps, churches and any other venues students and their families have gathered. For Peder, it's all about effective communication as we draw closer to God and closer to one another.

His passion is for teaching families to worship together and to truly learn the power of praying for one another. He works to unite parents and children, siblings, and spouses - all in worship. Instead of separating the generations for worship, he aims to bring everyone together, blending many styles of music so that no one feels left out.

As an active artist/spokesperson for Compassion International, Peder is humbled to have seen thousands of third world children sponsored through his ministry. He has also experienced the joy of his own family sponsoring many children.

Peder, along with his wonderful wife Sherri, have further invested in the needs children by internationally adopting two beautiful kids of their own, Makenzie and Teshome. Combined with their three biological treasures Taylor, Allison, and Ethan, the Eide's have uniquely tasted worship together and have truly seen the goodness of the Lord.

Christmas Album: Perfect Surprise
Latest Album: Taste And See
Random Fact: Peder dreamed of being on the PGA tour - and plays golf whenever time affords.

Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What prophet, who lived in Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile, had visions of a flying scroll and a gold lamp stand?

A: No correct answer yet ...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Say this out loud: "Christmas is next week."

Yep, it's true. Next Saturday is Christmas. For some this brings excitement, for others panic, and still, for others - sweet relief. Before you know it, 2010 will come to a close and a new year of life will begin. I hope you will spend the year with us here at Joy! 102.5. We've got exciting plans, dreams and hopes for 2011 - and they include you!

New Release Tuesday:

Sorry gang, nothing new this week. Everyone is off celebrating the holidays or playing Christmas concerts - so nobody put out anything new. How will we ever survive!? (I'm sure we'll make it...)

33 Miles

Chris Lockwood and Jason Barton are 33 Miles. When 33 Miles burst onto the scene in 2008 they were heavily influenced by new country. Comparisons to Raskal Flatts were obvious. Now with a little experience under their belts, the guys bring a more layerd sound in Today. While still very much country, there are more pop influences in their songwriting to atract a broader audience.

Change is a part of life. A lesson the band recently learned when one of their original members, keyboardist Collin Stoddard, followed God’s calling into worship ministry full time.
“For five years, it’s just been the three of us,” says Chris. “But I think God had been preparing Collin’s heart, just as he’d been preparing us. As his heart was headed elsewhere, our sound began to change.”
The band showcases their love of Christmas in an EP called Believe. You can hear pretty much that whole album on Joy! - and listen to it for free HERE!

Christmas Album: Believe

Latest Album: Today


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: Who was the only female Judge of Israel?

A: Deborah (Judges 4:4)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Josh is recuperating from a family Christmas weekend, so Rodney kindly accepted the reigns for the Joy Ride this afternoon. Buckle up - it's going to be a Christmassy ride!

Sidewalk Prophets

Sidewalk Prophets was born out of Anderson University when two music loving Christians named Dave Frey and Ben McDonald connected. And although the mid-westerners don't consider themselves a worship band, they do say that they are perfectly content to play more worship music than original recordings during their concerts. It's a goal they have for their daily lives - integrate worship in all ways possible! That is what motivates them to tour 150+ dates a year, sleeping in closets, and missing family. They are grinding out their calling and God is blessing them with success.

Recently Sidewalk Prophets was featured on a Christmas compilation called Come Now Our King. Their song is Hope Was Born This Night. The entire EP features Chris August, Meredith Andrews, Barlow Girl, and Francesca Battistelli as well!

Christmas Album featuring Sidewalk Prophets: Come Now Our King

Last Album: These Simple Truths


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: Which Old Testament prophet had a wife named Gomer?

A: Hosea

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rodney is the drivers' seat while Josh is out and about. He's Christmas shopping at Family Christian Store (and broadcasting live this afternoon)! Swing by and say hello - and you won't leave empty handed (or stomached). Georgia House has got food and you might win a great Christmas prize!

And for my tech-loving friends out there, you'll get a kick out of this! Atlanta based Northpoint church did a Christmas concert with instruments all synthesized on iPads and iPhones:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A word of advice for Christmas shoppers out there. Take a baby. People are way nicer to you in Walmart and Target if you have a cute baby all dressed up Holiday style. And while they are oogling at the child, you can grab the last of the must-have sale items.

You're welcome.

Plus One

In the year 2000 ...

Boy Bands were BIG. I mean HUGE! And Christian music wasn't about to let that trend pass by unanswered. Enter Plus One. A dance-pop boy band, except instead of singing about ex-girlfriends, they were singing about God. What started out as a copycat answer to culture, turned into a real group of young men who learned the art of songwriting and refused to settle in their niche. Every album showed growth and change.

By the final album (Exodus), the band had come full circle to remain relevant in a changing musical landscape. In between pop records, the guys released Christmas - a broad spectrum Christmas project that lovingly played with classics while bringing some real worshipful moments as well. In 2004 the group called it quits, parting ways to pursue other avenues of ministry.

I sort of miss these guys ...

Christmas Album: Christmas
Last Album: Exodus

Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What Old Testament prophet is most quoted in the New Testament?

A: Isaiah (85 times!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Have you ever been staring lazily at a Christmas tree, admiring the beauty of the season when out of the corner of your eye you notice a little blink. This time you seek it out and sure enough, there it is again! One light that is sort of flickering. It's not flashing or even twinkling, it is just barely shorting out. Now whenever you look at the tree, your eyes are immediately drawn to that one light that just won't stay on. And Christmas is ruined.

The End.


After nearly 30 years and 20 #1 radio hits - Newsong still pushes the limits to reach a new generation for Christ. After nearly a decade away, award winning front-man Russ Lee has returned to the group as they promote their latest smash album Give Yourself Away. The music on the album is once again produced by Charlie Peacock and features the vocal harmonies you expect from Newsong, but a punch of fresh musical perspective.

Newsong loves Christmas! Their breakout hit The Christmas Shoes paved the way for the band's more recent The Christmas Hope. As a founder of the Winter Jam concert series, this group knows how to bring Christmas to a live audience.
“At the end of the day, the goal for NewSong has always been to share the Gospel and to make sure everyone knows that Christianity is a relationship of Hope that’s for anyone.”
Christmas Album: The Christmas Hope

Latest Album: Give Yourself Away


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What king built the first temple in Jerusalem?

A: Solomon (2 Chronicles 2:1)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

There is a difference between cheap and inexpensive. That difference has nothing to do with cost and only a little to do with quality. The cost of Christmas can be prohibitive. I sometimes find myself sad or embarassed when I can't get the thing I want for the person I love. But the love language of gift giving isn't about the gift - it's about the people. I love finding something or dreaming up something to find for people I love. I find satisfaction in giving gifts. For me, a gift is taking an emotion or memory and finding something tangible to represent that - and then wrapping it up in shiny paper and giving it away! Sometimes those things are simple and inexpensive. Sometimes they take months to save up for. But when they represent love, in a specific thinking of you sort of way, they go from a bauble to a jewel.
A cheap gift can be 5 cents or a million dollars. The difference between cheap and inexpensive is the thought. When gift giving is your love language, you know that it is the thought that counts! Something throughtless is not special. It is given and received out of duty or guilt. That's why Jesus said that the widow who gave her all (all two cents worth) gave much more than those who paraded their grand gifts in the Temple. It wasn't just about sacrifice, the gift was about Love. I think that is why so many people were disappointed with God's salvation. They wanted a grand king to rule on high, but God provided something much more special. He sent His Son. Not an expensive royal conquest, but a humble servant who lived, loved, died, and thankfully - conquered death! God's gift showed thought. He gave from His heart, not His wallet. And even though that gift is incalcuably valuable, it's real value is in what it means to us individually. So if you give gifts for Christmas let them show love and creativity, no matter what the price tag says.

Go Fish

Go Fish is three guys bringing fun accapella fueled music to families and young children! Everything they do is geared towards introducing kids to Jesus through music, dance, visuals and fun.
“CS Lewis called it ‘chronological snobbery’—every generation thinks the previous generations were out of touch and we know better,” adds Jamie. “But so much in today’s world is man-centered. Many times even the Gospel becomes all about us, what’s in it for us. More than anything we’ve ever done, Kickin’ It Old School is definitely God-focused. For us it isn’t just about singing old songs, it is about teaching kids that the Truth is in the Bible.”
Kickin’ It Old School is the latest installment of the biblical foundation for kids and families that Go Fish has been building since their 2003 children’s music debut, Splash. Leaving behind a career in Christian pop, the trio turned their attention to making music exclusively for kids after a series of sold-out concerts gave them a nudge toward an audience which might have been smaller in stature, but not in numbers.

Christmas Album: Christmas With A Capital C

Latest Album: Kickin' It Old School

Scriptural Pursuit

Q: Who is the only king who is said to have neither mother nor father?

A: Melchizedek, the king of Salem (Hebrews 7:3)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Merry, merry Monday!

Egg nog is wonderful ... but only in moderation. Try drinking more than half a glass sometime. It does not settle well ...

Bebo Norman

Back before it was fairly normal for independent artists to be successful, Bebo Norman sold fifty thousand self-made copies of his first record (1996) at coffeehouse shows, out of the trunk, and online. Now, as a recognized singer/songwriter in the Nashville-Christian community, he still keeps a low profile. He likes to quietly do his thing, without the trappings of the limelight. In fact, after a decade of major label success, he chose to go with a more grassroots style label for his latest release - signing with BEC based in Seattle.
“There will always be giants of the faith who have gone before me, spoken more eloquently, sung more beautifully, and prayed more poignantly,” Bebo says. “But as I struggle to feel adequate enough to even approach Him, in some miraculous way I’m reminded that the God of the universe thinks my prayers are nothing less than stunning—simply because I am His.”
Still rooted in the tuneful sensibilities of men like James Taylor or more recently John Mayer, Bebo Norman stretches the artist’s production values, getting edgier and smoother on either side of his folksy inclinations. And there’s a new level of spiritual vulnerability that’s key to the lyrics, often about breathing new life into things that are running ragged. His Christmas record is a beautiful worship album that manages to somehow sound both familiar and different at the same time.

Christmas Album: Christmas From The Realms of Glory

Latest Album: Ocean


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What cruel king had the infant boys of Bethlehem slaughtered?

A: Herod (Matthew 2:16)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

During the Holidays I usually end up making at least one or two airport runs. And since Southwest doesn't have many non-stops into Salisbury or Easton, that means driving over to BWI. I don't mind the drive - in fact I love going to airports. It is even better than the mall when it comes to people-watching, which is a little like bird watching, except not as boring.
When you people watch at the mall, you see moms fighting each other over the last Barbie on the shelf or teenagers flirting casually while sipping on their oh-so-cool coffee beverages (which FYI, contain almost no actual coffee). But at the airport, you see humanity stripped down to the bare soul. You see anxious spouses pacing in anticipation. You see children screaming for joy as they jump into the arms of their daddy back from war. You see silver haired grandparents pulling out presents from the carry-on - to excited to wait until Christmas. You see the ever socially conscious college student cry for joy as they hug their parents and feel the warmth of knowing they are really home.
The airport is a crossroads in modern life. In my life, the two dominating signs at the airport have been the cause of sadness, joy, excitement and determination. Those signs? ARRIVAL and DEPARTURE. But I'm reminded of some lyrics to a song from the 90s, "..every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." Whether you are beginning or ending a beginning this Christmas, don't hesitate to show those you love, just how much you love them. The world would be a better place if we all behaved as honestly as people at the airport.

Ashmont Hill

Ashmont Hill was born out of the inner city in Boston, Massachusetts. As a pop-gospel quartet, the group draws inspiration from a diverse pool of talent - from Annointed to Michael W. Smith to the Winans, Hillsong, Leeland and many more! It becomes instantly apparent from listening to Ashmont Hill’s latest release, Your Masterpiece, that the group’s love of diverse musical influences and congregational worship can’t be confined to a single music market.
“Our Dad instilled in us from the beginning the need to be a church without walls,” says April.
Before the album had even released, the group landed an opening slot on tour with Natalie Grant. They are quickly building a following while touring as many days as they can.

Latest Album: Your Masterpiece


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas parties. It's time. Ugly sweaters, weird food speared with a toothpick, and worst of all ... uncomfortably singing Christmas carols when you only know every third word. I mean, who knew there were so many verses to Silent Night?

My word of advice? Mouth "watermelon peanut butter" over and over, smile and bide your time til you can head for the door!

Josh's Spinach/Bacon Queso Dip:
1 lb Velveeta, cubed
4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese, cubed
1 can Ro*Tel (I prefer Hot)
8-10 slices crispy cooked bacon crumbled up
Slice up some spinach (half a package of frozen spinach that has been cooked and drained or a handful of spinach leaves chopped up nice and thin)

Put it all in a dish and microwave, stirring every couple of minutes until it comes together. It's a great holiday party winner! Served best with tortilla chips - and bring Kleenex if you use the hot Ro*tel!

Laura Kaczor

We are thrilled to have Laura calling in for the Joy Ride this afternoon! Though originally from PA, she now calls Nashville home. Tune in to hear all about her recording and writing process, working with a variety of ministries, and what her hopes are for the future!

Latest Album: Love Enough

Want more? CLICK HERE

Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What future king of Israel was out looking for his donkeys when Samuel came to anoint him?

A: Saul (1 Samuel 9)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Have you ever used a Neti Pot?
It's this little tea kettle looking thing that allows you to pour saline solution through one nostril - clearing out your sinusses and then spew all the gunk out of the other nostril. Yes, it is as gross as it sounds - but I was desperate to stop a sinus headache so I tried it. WOW! It works! It's still gross, but it gets the job done. So if you are like me - and all of these weather changes, leaves and pollen count has you feeling pretty stopped up, it might be a part of the solution for you.

The Afters

The Afters have been through the ringer this past year. Their longtime friend and manager lost a two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Two original members of the band moved on to new ministries, a life-threatening car accident, and a new band member losing a close friend just a week after joining the group. Their latest album Light Up The Sky is all about moving in and out of seasons in life. Some are hard, some feel unusually blessed.
“The story behind Light Up the Sky is a part of the story of all of us,” says Fuqua. “[It’s] a picture of what it looks like when you make it through [a] really challenging time, and you look back and see how God was using all of those things for good and that you were never alone.”

The songs on this new collection vividly reflect the faithfulness of God amidst hard times, something the band is all too familiar with. All of the battles have helped the guys change their priorities. The band has even rearranged its touring schedule to ensure they are home on Sundays to lead worship at church and that family time is a priority.

Latest Album: Light Up The Sky


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What man is the most mentioned man in the Bible?

A: Jesus
Though it varies in different versions, Jesus is mentioned approximately 1281 times! And for the naysayers out there who argue "Isn't God mentioned more?" well, the question was what "man" - not what "person/man/supreme being" is mentioned most in the Bible.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Less than a week after Thanksgiving and I have officially cleared out my refrigerator of leftovers. It was a weekend of feasting on turkey and the assortment of casseroles - but I did it. Mission accomplished! Now on to Christmas goodie devouring!

New Release Tuesday

What's New in Christian Music:

Christmas This Year (Featuring Leigh Nash) - Single
by tobyMac | Genre: Christmas

Tracks in the Snow EP
by The Civil Wars | Genre: Christmas (Joy Williams band)
Download it for FREE HERE!

Body Language
by Qheem The Redeemed | Genre: Rap

Want more info? CLICK HERE

Brandon Heath

Since his 2006 debut, Christian music’s twice honored GMA Dove Award Male Vocalist of the Year (2009 and 2010), Brandon Heath has won an Emmy Award, been nominated for two GRAMMYs, an American Music Award, and holds multiple GMA Dove Awards. Heath’s radio career includes three No. 1 hits, “I’m Not Who I Was,” “Wait and See” and 2009’s GMA Dove-winning Song of the Year, “Give Me Your Eyes.”

Off stage, Heath seeks opportunities to merge his public platform with his heart for community, regularly working with Young Life, Blood:Water Mission, Restore International and unofficially volunteering for many other human rights agencies on a global scale. Heath also created the annual “Love Your Neighbor” benefit with songwriter Jason Ingram, in partnership with Fellowship Bible Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, for a night of music to raise funds and gather volunteers for a focused need in the Nashville community.

Latest Album: Leaving Eden (available January 18, 2011)


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: Who became David's wife after her husband Nabal died?

A: Abigail (1Samuel 25:39)
Side note: Nabal had a stroke when Abigail confessed to providing food and provisions for David and his troops.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Josh is enjoying a long Thanksgiving break, but the Joy Ride rolls on.

Speaking of rolls ... who else ate too much this past weekend?

Norman Hutchins

Dr. Norman Hutchins' music ministry has been going strong for over 15 years! With a recent 2007 Stellar Award nomination just one of many, a Grammy Award and a Dove Award nomination, Norman Hutchins has already acquired acclaim not only as a singer, but also as an exceptional writer.

He now serves as Pastor and Founder of Frontline Ministries, the founder of IR Music Group and the CEO Of Impact Entertainment Media Group, A Family Value Alternative for Stage and Media. Norman will tell you music is his gift, but preaching is his calling.

Latest Album: God Is Faithful


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: Who did Delilah betray for a fortune in silver shekels?

A: Samson

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

It's Black Friday!

I always felt that nickname was ominous - but it references (what else) the economy. Today is the day that many retailers will find out if they end the year in the red (in debt) or the black (positive gains).

Now, I could lecture about the pitfalls of hyper-consumerism, but I'm currently ordering Christmas gifts online, so that would be a bit hypocritical.

Enjoy the Christmas music! And ditch the credit cards.

Point of Grace

I become a mushy pile of sentimentality during the Season of Christmas. I have enjoyed an endless variety of Christmas albums throughout the years - but my number one pick for what I consider traditional, wonderful Christmas music is Point of Grace and any one of their FOUR Christmas albums!

These gals love the Season as much as I do - and their Christmas records feature pretty much every Christmas song ever. The styles range from a stripped down country vibe all the way to a full orchestra and then circle back around to a big band! If variety is the spice of life - Point of Grace is about as much Christmas spice you can get.

Latest Christmas Album: Home For The Holidays


No Scriptural Pursuit Today
But you can always read your Bible and study up!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from Joy! 102.5 WOLC!

Thank you for spending your afternoons on the Joy Ride. It is a joy and pleasure to encourage and entertain each day. This Thanksgiving, my first here at Joy!, is made extra special because of the kindness and friendliness of the GREATEST LISTENERS ON THE PLANET!

Thanks for welcoming me into your lives - your cars - your home each day. May you have an exceptionally blessed Thanksgiving.

Josh Millwood

Amy Grant

Back in the 90s, Amy Grant SHOCKED the Christian community by taking her act to the secular music market. It wasn't the first time that a beloved Christian artist went mainstream, but it deeply affected people at the time. You might remember the song Baby, Baby? Then - that was tantamount to sacrilege. Now, it's muzak in elevators.

She branched out to country music as well. The past decade, Amy Grant has been back to making Christian records. She and her husband Vince Gill and all over the place. Christian, Country, Pop - they have great Christmas records as well!

Random Tidbit: Amy Grant's old background vocalist and keyboard player was Michael W. Smith!

Latest Album: Somewhere Down The Road


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 (Thanksgiving Eve)

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! I, for one, plan on kick starting the festivities today!

Turkey Countdown: 1 DAYS

History of the Turkey (About):
Turkey was introduced to the early Pilgrim settlers by the Native American Wampanoag tribe after the Pilgrims arrived in 1620. The first year for the settlers was bleak, with many dying from the journey. The Indians assisted the settlers, introducing them to native foods such as corn and squash and showed them how to hunt and fish. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621 at the behest of Governor William Bradford, and the Native Americans were invited guests of honor. While the turkey may or may not have been at the first Thanksgiving feast, the plentiful New World fowl was readily available to the colonists.

By 1916, Thanksgiving was referred to in writings as Turkey Day due to the popularity of the bird at the traditional feast. The popularity of wild turkeys nearly wiped them out. The federal government stepped in with protection in 1991, and they are now found in 49 states. Turkey was most-associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas, making winter the prime season for turkey farmers.

The tryptophan in turkey is often blamed for post-feast drowsiness, however there is actually more tryptophan in cheese and chicken breast than in the Thanksgiving turkey! More than likely you are getting sleepy because you just ate too much.

Random Thanksgiving side-note: In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt attempted to move the official Thanksgiving date to earlier in November in order encourage a longer Christmas shopping season as a Depression recovery strategy. His idea was shut down by Congress, and the official date was declared permanently as the fourth Thursday in November via Public Law #379.


SONICFLOOd, the band that paved the way for the modern praise and worship movement and touted as “The Fathers of Modern Worship Music” just celebrated 10 years of ministry. One of their greatest honors was to perform the first Christian concert ever in a secular venue in modern Turkey’s history. This was nothing short of a miracle in a Country that is 99.9% Muslim. They have also had the privilege of performing at the President of Thailand’s birthday party. Their international ministry is extensive as they have performed on every continent except Antarctica.

They have earned a Grammy nomination, Dove Awards, ASCAP awards, as well as many other accolades. They have been featured on the 700 Club, TBN, INSP, God TV, and Harvest TV. They have sold over 2 million records - no small accomplishment in the post-Napter era! The band has had a rotating line-up over the years. Originally SONICFLOOd was fronted by Jeff Deyo. Now Rick Heil leads the epic worship band.

Latest Album: A Heart Like Yours


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: The king of what land repented after hearing the preaching of Jonah?

A: Nineveh (Jonah 3:6)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We can hardly stand the wait - please Thanksgiving, don't be late!

New Release Tuesday
What's New in Christian Music

Introducing The City Harmonic
by The City Harmonic | Genre: Praise & Worship

Saving Power
by Generation Unleashed | Genre: Praise & Worship

Come Away
by Jesus Culture | Genre: Praise & Worship

Modern Hymnal 2.0
by Various Artists - Worship | Genre: Praise & Worship

Birds And Microscopes And Bottles Of Elixirs And Raw Steak And A Bunch Of Songs
by Norma Jean | Genre: Hard Rock

Oh and there's more - rock, rap, worship - it's all there! CLICK HERE

Turkey Countdown: 2 DAYS

History of Sweet Potato Casserole (About):
It's a perenial favorite - the gooey marshmallows covering the sweet, brown sugary sweet potato puree. The smell, even more than the taste, means that Thanksgiving is here!
Sweet potatoes are the root of a vine in the morning glory family and native to the New World tropics. Its history dates back to 750 B.C. in Peruvian records. Columbus brought the sweet potato to the New World from the island of Saint Thomas. During the Revolutionary War, General Cornwallis (Red Coat) had the cooks at the Colonial Inn in Hillsborough, NC fix his family's yam recipe. That is how the sweet casserole made its way into American cookbooks.
Again, this root is a fall harvested veggie, which is why it ends up on our tables come holiday time.


This GRAMMY and multi-Dove award nominated band is known for powerful songwriting. While the music is modern rock and anthemic - the lyrics show uncommon depth and discernment. With three full length albums and a new worship EP under their belt, the quartet from Baytown, TX shows no signs of slowing down.
“During the past year, God has caused a total shift in our thinking and the way we approach our ministry,” says Leeland keyboardist Jack Mooring. His brother, the band’s principal songwriter, lead singer and guitarist, Leeland Mooring begins to explain, “For awhile, we were just this band from Baytown, Texas, and all we saw was our little church where God had been doing awesome and incredible things. But He’s really been opening our vision to all the hurting people, especially the poor, around the world and making it clear we should help by being a part of spreading His kingdom.”

With passion and conviction Leeland has transformed its sound into a call to action; asking followers of Christ to be the hands and feet of God. The band’s quest for insight continued as they befriended renowned teenage abolitionist Zach Hunter, toured with activist-rockers Third Day, collaborated with social justice advocate Michael W. Smith, partnered with Christian relief organization Food for the Hungry, took outreach trips to Africa and Asia, and attended Hillsong Church’s 2008 Conference in Australia.

When Leeland’s not on the road, band members continue to lead worship at the Baytown, Texas church the Mooring’s parents began pastoring six years ago. The band also serves regularly in their community’s Gulf Coast emergency preparedness programs and at a local food pantry which feeds hundreds of people each week.

Latest Album: Majesty: The Worship EP


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What was Esther's Hebrew name?

A: Hadassah (Esther 2:7)
I'm not sure where "Hadassah" ranks on the popular girl names list ... but I'm thinking towards the end ...

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's the week of Thanksgiving! The holiday season cannot be ignored any longer!

And I am not ashamed to admit that I began decorating the house for Christmas this past weekend. The tree isn't up yet - but I did put some lights and garland around the stair rail. I needed to confess that to somebody ...

Holiday Homemaker
Here are some tips for making your house comfortable for those Holiday guests:

1. Throw Pillows - Great for decorating and making deep-seated couches more comfortable, but don't overwhelm all of the seating spaces.

2. Dim Lighting - Everyone looks better in lower light. Plus it creates a sense of intimacy.

3. Furniture - Arrange furniture to face each other to encourage conversation - not towards the TV.

4. Side tables - provide a place for cups and plates, otherwise you'll be discovering trash for weeks after the party.

5. Extra blankets - Stock the guest room(s) with extra blankets so they don't have to worry about bothering you for them later.

6. Fresh flowers - Put little vases around the house with small, fresh flowers. It is refreshing and calming.

7. Luggage Space - Add a chair or bench to the guest room for luggage and/or a place to put shoes on.

* Borrowed from

Turkey Countdown: 3 DAYS

History of Pumpkin Pie (About):
I'll preface this by saying I do not care for pumpkin pie. It's not that I hate it - I just prefer most other desserts over it.
Early settlers would have had a version of pumpkin pie that involved hollowing out a pumpkin and filling it with eggs, milk, honey and spices - and letting that curdle inside the pumpkin next to the hot ashes of a fire place. The whole crust thing wouldn't happen for decades (and thank the Lord it did - cause that is the only part of a pumpkin pie I like).
In fact, the crusted version of what we now consider pumpkin pie originated in France in 1651. It was devised by the famous chef, Francois Pierre la Varenne who called it the "Tourte of Pumpkin." It wasn't until 1796 that pumpkin pie first debuted in an American cook book. And since pumpkins ripen during the harvest season, it became a staple of harvest season spreads.

Chad Gentry

Chad considers himself first and foremost a music missionary, with a passion to bring the message of Jesus Christ to both church and secular settings. This desire has taken him to many states and many venues to share his songs and his heart. It is Chad's hope that Christians both new and mature in their faith, as well as those still searching for Truth, can draw inspiration and scriptural truths from his songs.

When not on the road, Chad partners with Murfreesboro, Tennessee (Nashville suburbs) area churches such as LifePoint Church, River Oaks Community Church, and New Vision Baptist Church. Chad is a native of Southern Indiana and an alumnus of the University of Evansville.

Latest Album: Time To Shine


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What harlot became a hero for saving the lives of Joshua's spies and was so honored in later days that she is listed in the genealogy of Jesus?

A: Rahab (Joshua 2, 6)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

The average cost for a Thanksgiving meal (feeding 8-10) is just under $50. Some families cannot afford the cost of the holiday - and many churches are doing something about it! Check with your church to see if there is an outreach this holiday season that you and your family can participate in!

Tomorrow morning, Joelle (from the Joy In The Morning team) will be broadcasting from Living Hope Ministries in Crisfield, MD! They are giving away 100 Thanksgiving meals to families in need! So head down to the docks and hang out!

Turkey Countdown: 5 DAYS

History of Cranberries (About):
The Pilgrims learned all about cranberries from the Native Americans, who recognized the natural preservative power (benzoic acid) in the berries. They used it to preserve meats over the long winter. They were a tart reprive from heavy food - but sugar was scarce, so the sauce we know and love (tolerate) today was not present at the first Thanksgiving. Cranberry sauce came into the picture via General Ulysses S. Grant who ordered it served to the troops during the seige of Petersburg in 1864. Cranberry sauce was first commercially canned in 1912 by the Cape Cod Cranberry Company.

Nicole Nordeman

Nicole just released her greatest hits collection. But she earned it. 10 years of touring, 6 full length albums and 9 Dove Awards, including 2 Female Vocalist of the Year Doves gives an artist the right the street cred for a Greatest Hits anthology!

Nordeman was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she played the piano in church. She got her start when she entered a Gospel Music Association (GMA) contest in Los Angeles, California and was noticed by a music producer. She's also written songs for the VeggieTales and performed I Will Believe for the soundtrack Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia.

Nichole is married to Errol Ingram. The couple have two children, Charlie Thomas Ingram, born in July 2003, and Paige Bennett Ingram, born in November, 2008. Yes - her husband's name is Errol - like Errol Flynn!

Latest Album: Recollection: The Best Of Nicole Nordeman


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: What Jewish girl married a Persian Emperor and helped save her exiled people from extermination?

A: Esther

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's the time of year that we are faced with a dilemma.

To rake, or to blow ...

Turkey Countdown: 6 DAYS

History of Stove Top Stuffing (wiki):
This staple of American Thanksgiving tables was introduced by General Foods in 1972 - and then bought out by Kraft in 1990. The quick stuffing formula was developed from a home-made recipe that a research team of three Nobel prize winning scientists analyzed.
(Note: They did not win the Nobel for stove top stuffing - but I bet it looks good on their resume)
Kraft Foods says they sell about 60 million boxes every Thanksgiving.
A listener informed me that a bakery in Federalsburg actually bakes the bread used in Stove Top! What?! How was that not on the Shore Things list?!

Regie Hamm

Regie Hamm has penned over 20 #1 hits, many of them in the Christian market. His song (performed by David Cook) "Time Of My Life" ruled the pop charts for four months - and was labeled the "theme song for the 2008 Summer Olympics!"

He was raised in Pentecostal churches, tent revivals, and all night singings. Feeling born to create music, he experienced unprecedented success in the music industry in the 90's with Grammy and Dove nominations, and winning SESAC's Songwriter of the Year award four different times.

Oh - and he produced the soundtrack for Fireproof. So Kirk Cameron owes him.
Latest Album: Set It On Fire

Book: Angels & Idols


Scriptural Pursuit

Q: Who ran to the priest Eli, thinking Eli had called to him in the night, however it was actually God who called?

A: Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4-5)