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CHRI Team “Summer Playlist” Recommendations

August 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Music
Here’s what the CHRI Team is listening to on repeat this summer. Listen to the playlist for free on Spotify, click here.  Tell us your favourite summer tune and we’ll add to the playlist!

dan_150 Dan Adams:“Gotta Be Tonight” by Lifehouse

“Feel It” by Toby Mac

care_150 Care Baldwin:“The River” by Jordan Feliz

“Through Your Eyes” by Britt Nicole

ashlyn_150 Ashlyn Berkhout:“Kings and Queens” by Brooke Fraser

“Verge” by Owl City

“Hey Mama” by Matt Kearney

danc_150 Dan Cole:“Your Hands” by JJ Heller
ashley_150 Ashley House“Hard Love” by NEEDTOBREATHE

“Say Yes” by Michelle Williams

“Priceless” by For King & Country

“God I Know” by Love & the outcome

skye_150 Skye MacDiarmid“Real Love” by Hillsong Young and Free

“Faithful to the End” by Bethel Music

bill_150 Bill Stevens:“Power” by Group One Crew

“Better” by Hezekiah Walker

denise_150 Denise Stevens“God is on the Move” by 7eventh Time Down

“Good Good Father” by Chris Tomlin

brock_150 Brock Tozer:“Brand New” by Ben Rector

“Hard Love” by Needtobreathe

“I Know” by Group 1 Crew

“Brother” by Seth & Nirva (f. GabeReal)–Brother

dianne_150 Dianne Van der Putten:“Never Gonna Stop Singing” by Jesus Culture

“God’s Great Dance Floor” by Chris Tomlin

“Running” by Hillsong

“Deeper” by Meredith Andrews

“Trust In You” by Lauren Daigle

“Father of Lights” by Kim Walker-Smith

Why This Muslim-Focused Pastor Is Urging a 1 Corinthians 13 Approach to Nice Attacks

August 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in News and Updates
People gather to leave flowers in tribute to victims the day after a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more on the Promenade des Anglais who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, France. (REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

People gather to leave flowers in tribute to victims the day after a truck ran into a crowd
at high speed killing scores and injuring more on the Promenade des Anglais who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, France. (REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)

On France’s Bastille Day of proclaiming “Freedom! Equality! Brotherhood!” it takes just one Islamic Radical to reveal their hatred of all we stand for.

At least 85 are dead already, 50 more severely injured, including many children. It often takes a moment like Orlando or Nice in France to wake us up to the realities of Radical Islam, but this is a moment to “face the facts, but not fuel the fear.”

There are thousands of Muslims today across France and Europe who are shaken by the senseless murders of Radical Islam. Believe me, most of them are longing for someone to reach out to them and befriend them, rather than alienating them, and seeing them as “the enemy.”

Ali Husnain, was one of those young Muslims, who could well have been radicalized, but at the age of 16, he visited his aunt in Oxford, England, where a simple act of friendship changed his life. There he met some friendly Christians and was invited to a church meeting. He was amazed at the end of the service, when an invitation was given to anyone who would like to have an encounter with Jesus. Why would anyone not want to meet Jesus? He went forward, but found himself all alone at the front of the meeting where he fell under the power of the Holy Spirit, and immediately had an open vision of Jesus!

That experience totally changed Ali’s life. He had been born into a very wealthy family in Pakistan, and was raised as a devout Shia Muslim. He was a direct descendant of Mohammed, and Christianity couldn’t have been further from his mind. Now after this encounter, and a subsequent dream, he had come to faith in Jesus.

Unfortunately, Ali was unaware that he was about to face the evils of Radical Islam. On his return to school in his town in Pakistan, he casually mentioned that he didn’t need any other sacrifice at Eid, as he already had Jesus as his sacrifice.

Word quickly got round about his conversion, and after school he was dragged out and ritually held down while a member of a terrorist group stabbed him through the heart. They left him to die, but they didn’t bargain on Jesus appearing to him, stretching out his hand towards the knife lodged in his chest. He was rushed to hospital, where Jesus again appeared in a vision and totally healed him. He was chased all round Pakistan, and they even killed one of his aunts who sheltered him. Miraculously, we heard about this in Oxford, and a local British doctor was able to rescue him and fly him back to the U.K.

The persecution didn’t stop there. Along with others, I had been discipling him for three years, when one day I was in his house as a phone call came through from the terrorist group in Pakistan. I listened in amazement as they said that they had finally located him in the U.K., and would send someone to kill him the next day if he didn’t recant and come back to Islam.

This was in safe old mother England—not Pakistan! It was a rude wake up call to the realities of international terrorism. We quickly found a secure location for Ali to live for a few months while the storm blew over. He had already been refused asylum twice by the British government, who couldn’t believe that his life was in danger back in Pakistan. So now, armed with a recording of the threat from this terrorist group, we were finally able to persuade the authorities to grant him asylum. Remarkably, Ali is now living and working openly back in Oxford, and a friend has written his story: The Cost: My Life on a Terrorist Hit List.”

What is more amazing however, is that Ali not only refuses to run and hide, but now wishes to travel back to the town where he was stabbed in Pakistan in order to purchase land to build a healthcare facility for those living in poverty, regardless of faith. He wants to show the love of Christ to those who tried to kill him, through starting ” The Gulshan Trust” which will help him raise the funds to build and run this facility.

In 2-3 years time, following this act of love and forgiveness, Ali intends to return to Pakistan, so that he can then slowly breakdown the intense hatred and misunderstanding of the local people towards Christians and the Christian faith. Ali had an open vision that he was preaching on a platform to a huge crowd of people back in his home town, and in that vision, some of the people who stabbed him were there listening intently in the front row. Radical Islam cannot win! We need to learn with Ali, that “love never fails.”

3 Reasons Why you should read Life in the Spirit. 1) Get to know the Holy Spirit. 2) Learn to enter God’s presence 3) Hear God’s voice clearly! Go deeper!

Has God called you to be a leader? Ministry Today magazine is the source that Christian leaders who want to serve with passion and purpose turn to. Subscribe now and receive a free leadership book.

The Best Way to Apologize

August 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Advice and Tips
THE SCHOOL OF APOLOGIES

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The art of apologizing is not easy. It doesn’t come naturally to most of us, but we can learn it. And it’s worth the effort. We all make mistakes. The question is, what do we do after we’ve made a mistake?

A true apology can bring closure to tensions, conflicts, and hurt feelings that have been sore spots for months, even years. It can break down barriers faster than any other words or actions can.

Apologies must be sincere. Anyone can tell when an apology is obligatory, forced, or fake. Let’s practice the language of genuine apologies.

1. “I’m sorry.”

Lead off with these two words.

Then be specific. “I’m sorry for __________.” The more details you give, the better you communicate to the other person that you understand exactly what hurt him. By being specific, you also give the other person a chance to clarify. If you say, “I’m sorry for not spending time with you at the party,” your friend might surprise you and say, “Actually, that’s not why I’m mad. You had told me you wanted to ride together and introduce me to someone, and then you acted like I wasn’t even there.”

No “buts.” Words of sincere regret need to stand alone. Never add the word but. (“I’m sorry I said all those mean things to you, but you were irritating me.”) That shifts the blame to the other person. That’s not an apology; it’s an attack.

No excuses. When you follow an apology with an excuse, you cancel out the apology. (“I’m sorry you got stranded at school, but Will said we should just go.”)

“I’m sorry” focuses on how your behavior caused the other per- son pain. Start with those two, simple, powerful words: “I’m sorry.”

2. “I was wrong.”

Why is it so hard for some of us to admit, “I was wrong”? As if being wrong means we’re weak? Too o en we rationalize. Justify. Gloss over what we did and focus onwhy. Blame others.

That totally undermines an apology. For many people, those three words, “I was wrong,” really communicate that an apology is sincere.

My dad never admits he was wrong. He’s such a hypocrite. He’ll blame my mom, my brother, me, the weather, traffic. It’s always someone else’s fault. So I know even when he says ‘I’m sorry,’ what he really means is ‘I’m sorry you made me do that.’ Just for once in my life, I’d love to hear him admit
he was wrong.”

—Jonathan

If you’re choking over these words, then practice. You can do it! “I was wrong.”

3. “How can I make this right?”

If you lost your sister’s iPhone—buy her a new one.
If you ditched your friend on Friday night—hang out on Saturday. If you lied to your coach—go tell him the truth.
For some wrong actions, there’s an obvious remedy. The idea of restitution, or making things right, is deeply embedded in our human psyche. We all have an internal scale of fairness, and when things have been o -balance, we want to make them even again. Knowing the love languages of your tribe can help you restore jus- tice and love in a relationship. You can express restitution in the other person’s primary love language.

For Words people, tell them how incredible they are and how much they mean to you, in conjunction with your apology.

For Service people, prove you’re sincere by doing something for them, such as cleaning out their car, doing their laundry, or mowing the lawn.

For Gifts people, give something that shows you were thinking of them and that communicates “I’m sorry” deeply.

For Time people, give your undivided attention while you apologize.

For Touch people, an apology without physical contact feels insincere, so bridge the physical distance between you and give them a hug.

Speaking an apology in someone’s love language communicates that you genuinely care about the person.

Now there are some hurts you just can’t make right. Restitution is impossible. That changes the question from “How can I make this right?” to “How can I show you I still love you?” If you betray your best friend, or publicly humiliate your dad, or cheat on your girl- friend, you can’t exactly make that right. But in the context of your apology, you can communicate that you love the person.

4. “I won’t do that again.”

The technical term for this is “repentance.” Repent means to turn around or change one’s mind. It’s choosing to make a change.

My boyfriend flirts with other girls. Like openly flirts. He claims he’s just being friendly, but I don’t read it that way. What upsets me most is that he does it over and over again. My feelings are hurt, we talk it through, he apologizes, he promises never to do it again, and then he does it again.”

—Abby

What Abby is looking for (besides a new boyfriend) is repentance, not a 5,000th apology.

True repentance begins in the heart. We realize that we’ve hurt someone we love. We don’t want to continue hurting the person and decide to change. We verbalize that decision to the person o ended. We don’t minimize our behavior but accept full responsibility for our actions.

What people who have been hurt want to know is, “Do you intend to change, or will this happen again next week?” The answer to that question depends on repentance.

5. “Will you forgive me?”

Requesting forgiveness does three vital things:

• It indicates that you want to see the relationship restored.

• It shows that you realize you did something wrong.

• It gives the offended person a measure of control.

You can’t force other people to forgive; they have to choose. The future of your relationship depends on the other person’s decision.

That helps restore the balance of power in the relationship.
To some people, without that request for forgiveness, the apology falls flat—no matter how many times you say “I’m sorry” or “I was wrong” or “I’ll make it up to you” or “I’ll never do it again.”
If you want healthy relationships, then you need to learn the art of apologies. You’ll need to become fluent in those five key phrases and add a big dollop of sincerity.

Faith helps Canada’s fastest woman race to Rio

August 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Encouragement
Khamica BinghamKhamica Bingham’s OIympic dream began when Perdita Felicien’s ended.

One of Canada’s medal hopefuls in the 2016 Summer Olympics was initially inspired by one of Canada’s greatest Olympic disappointments. At the 2004 Olympics, Perdita was the favourite to win gold in the 100m hurdles, but in the final, she hit the first hurdle and crashed to the track.

As Perdita sat on the track, devastated, a 10-year-old Khamica, over 8000 kilometers away, was caught up in the emotion of the moment.

“My first Olympic memory was Perdita,” says Khamica. “I didn’t know what it was, there was just thisrace. Everyone was getting all amped up about it, talking about ‘Perdita, Perdita, Perdita.’ And then when she fell, the emotion in the room changed.”

Up until this point, she had never even thought about the Olympics, but the way her family reacted to the race, both the highs and the lows, captured her attention: “I was just like, ‘I want to do that! I want to do something where I’m on TV and everyone’s cheering for me and hoping that I bring home a gold medal.’”

Twelve years later, Khamica’s dream is on the verge of coming true, as she heads to Rio de Janeiro in August for her first Olympic games, carrying Canada’s hopes for a medal in the women’s 100m and running the anchor leg for the 4x100m team.

As a sprinter, Khamica craves the speed and simplicity of the 100m, but her journey to the Olympics has had its fair share of complications.

“As athletes,” she says, “we just want a straight path. But anything that we really want—our true dreams—it’s never that easy.”

The first obstacle came when she could no longer pursue her chosen sport, which was gymnastics, not track.

“My two siblings went to university, so my parents were trying to pay for their tuition as well as my gymnastics fees,” she says, “But there was a part of me that always had a love for track. I just knew instantly once I was done [gymnastics]: track is what can take me to the Olympics.”

She quickly found success in the sport, winning high school championships and competing on the world stage. Her athletic career hit new heights in 2015, but it was a tumultuous year filled with both triumph and tragedy.

Through it all, her faith kept her focussed as she learned to trust more and more in God’s timing. It’s fitting, then, that 2015 started with a landmark event in her spiritual journey.

“In January, I was talking to Herbie and verbally gave my heart to Jesus,” she says.

That would be Herbie Kuhn, Athletes in Action staff member and the chaplain for the Toronto Argonauts and Toronto Raptors, who has been providing the same service for the Olympic sprinting team. With the constant training and travel, it was tough for Khamica to keep connected to her church, so having Herbie available to the team to lead Bible studies and provide spiritual mentorship bridged the gap.

“I’ve always had a belief in God,” says Khamica, crediting her mother for teaching her about faith growing up. “And I’ve always wanted to know more about God, to work on that relationship and get closer. But my walk with Christ really happened when I met Herbie.”

In March, Khamica raced in the CIS Championships, winning gold in the 60m and setting a new Canadian university record in the process. But later in the month, tragedy struck.

While the Canadian sprinters were training in St. Kitts, Daundre Barnaby, who competed for Canada in the 400m at the 2012 Olympics, died while swimming in the ocean.

Khamica and Daundre joined several other teammates at the beach to cool off after a workout. “We were in the water and he was just a little bit further out than us,” she recalls. “I didn’t even realize that he was asking for help. By the time one of our teammates tried to actually help him, he was getting too far out and he drowned.”

Herbie was there the next day to support the athletes as they grieved and returned to training with heavy hearts. Khamica was particularly impacted.

“He was like a brother,” she said at his funeral a few weeks later and talked about how he made her laugh and was always there for her. Looking back now, she recognizes that his death gave her a new perspective.

“It made me realize how short life is,” she says, “and it really brought me closer to God, learning to rely on him and depend on him. To not take things for granted.”

“I’ve learned to stop complaining so much,” she adds, “because one day when it’s all over I’m going to really miss it and regret it. I think about Daundre and I think about everything that he wanted to do, so he’s my motivator: I try and do it for him.”

That was the mindset for her and the rest of the team heading into the Pan Am Games in Toronto that July.

Khamica made the final for the 100m, finishing 6th behind some of the fastest sprinters in the world. But the true highlight came a few days later as she ran the anchor leg for the women’s 4x100m relay.

With Jamaica and the USA running neck and neck for the lead, Khamica received the baton for her run with the runner from Brazil breathing down her neck. Khamica ran hard to the finish, dipped hard at the line, and held off Brazil for bronze.

“That was one of the best feelings that I’ve ever encountered in track,” she says. “We got a bronze, but I felt like we won gold. Because it was at home, knowing that my parents and my friends were in the crowd, it felt like we were at the Olympics.”

“To finally get that medal and for us to be in Toronto where everybody’s watching and wants to support us and cheer for us, it was perfect.”

2015 saw one more success for the 4x100m team, as they broke the Canadian record at the World Championships in August, even though they finished off the podium. Now, in 2016, Khamica has a different record in her sights.

The Canadian record for women in the 100m is 10.98 seconds. It was set nearly 30 years ago by Angela Bailey.

“That record has to go!” says Khamica emphatically. “It has to go!”

While Khamica has run a wind-aided 11.0 seconds, she has never broken the 11-second barrier, a defining moment for elite female sprinters. Her personal best is 11.13 seconds, set during the Pan Am 100m final.

“Once you go under 11 seconds,” she says, “anything can happen at that point. So right now we’re looking through my race plan and figuring out my weaknesses and my strengths and how we can improve so that by the time Rio comes, I am at my fastest.”

In order to reach the podium or even just the finals in Rio, Khamica feels that she will have to run a sub-11 race. The slowest qualifying time for the finals in the 2012 Olympic Games in London was 11.01 seconds.

“That’s why I feel that record has to go,” she repeats. “It has to go! The sooner the better, especially in a year of the Olympics where it really matters, this is the year where everything has to come together.”

That straight path she desires took one more unexpected curve this year when she suffered a knee injury. The injury will keep her from competing in the 200m event in Rio, for which she had already qualified.

“I had a cartilage tear in my knee and a fat pad impingement,” she says. “It took me out for about a month and a half of my training, so I’m just getting back now. My therapist and coach agree that I’m going to stay away from the 200 this year, because we don’t want to have any setbacks or risks running on the turn.”

For Khamica, the injury has been a lesson in patience and also in trusting God’s timing. The upside for her is that she is now able to focus solely on the 100m event. She hopes that devoting all her attention to the 100m will make her that much better in Rio.

As she sets her sights on success at the Olympics, she recognizes that success doesn’t define her, as her growing faith has helped her define a different path.

“Obviously as athletes we want to win,” she says, “But it’s about doing your best, glorifying God, and knowing that it’s him that gives me the talent and the blessing to do what I do.”

“Herbie’s the one that taught me about that,” she adds. “In everything I do, I glorify God. God created me and I just want to make sure that I’m doing what he has made me to do.”

Gymnast Shawn Johnson: How Her Olympic Career Led Her to Faith

August 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Encouragement

Acoustic Video Ryan Stevenson – Eye of the Storm

August 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Artist Spotlight

25 Tips to Prepare for School

August 1st, 2016 | No Comments | Posted in Focus On The Family

As August begins, many of us are now thinking about how we can prepare for school. The back to school sales are everywhere and your home will soon be overwhelmed with papers (that you can easily control!) As you prepare for school, find some extra helpful tips here.

1) Take some time to read with your kids throughout the summer and it will help prepare them. These six tips will be so helpful to teach you what you need to do to get the most out of your reading time with your kids.

2) Enjoy school shopping with your child and involve them by giving them choices. Our kids love to pick out their own outfits! (as you can see below – because rain boots go with every outfit, right? haha! That’s our Allie!)

3) Prepare yourself for early mornings and prepare what you can the night before. Being ready for a school morning is the best thing that you can do to get your family off to a great start! It makes a HUGE difference (and cuts back on stress and chaos for the mornings).

4) Celebrate back to school with a party! My friend hosted a back to school party and it was adorable. She had water balloons, pizza and gave each of the kids a few school supplies that were adorable (like cute Frozen pencils and a fun Initial notebook!)

5) If you are homeschooling, build up your supplies as you start the new year. Stock up on pencils, markers, crayons, highlighters and more! You can even check out the free printable below from PassionatePennyPincher.com.

6) When all the busyness of school hits, it is nice to have some planned family time.  Play one of the board games here or do any of these 10-minute activities with your kids.  Our favorite time to play is right after bath time when we are ready for some much-needed family time!

7) Take time to prepare your anxious children for school. Take a tour of the school, meet the teacher and practicing pick up and drop off are just a few ways to get starting in your preparation. It will really help your child to know what is going to happen on that first day.

8) Create a homework station for your children. You could even build a whole desk for under $100 like this one (get the directions here)

9) Heading back to school is always a busy time for teachers, surprise your child’s teacher with a gift as school starts. A mason jar filled with pencils is perfect!  Paint the mason jar a bright shade of apple red to look like an apple!  Or you can make a school supplies cake and fill it with everything that your teacher could need this year.

10) Use this video is my secret weapon to teach the kids their letters in a week!  Seriously awesome (use it in the car… even better!)

11) Start a tot school with the little ones to include them in the fun! Preschool is a great time to help your kids start learning.

12) Use hooks for each child’s book bag to keep things organized. I grabbed these little buckets & hooks at Ikea.

13) Mix up the lunches this year and keep it simple.  You can even use something fun like this sandwich cookie cutter to make their lunchbox filled with anything BUT a boring sandwich:

14) Organize your child’s clothes for the entire week.  Pick every outfit out on Sunday afternoon and lay them out or hang them up for the week.   It will get rid of any “I didn’t want to wear that!” type of battles… well, let’s hope so! 

15) Start your child’s day out right with a great meal! These make-ahead frozen breakfast ideas are easy and you can have them ready to go. A little protein is all that they need .

16) Plan out some easy, healthy after school snacks to fill your kids just enough until dinnertime.   I can remember my mom letting us pick a snack as soon as we came home from school (which reminds me… I can also remember my VERY HEALTHY brother having two powdered doughnuts and sprite every single day after school!  I’m pretty sure he hasn’t had a doughnut in over 20 years, so that is a very funny memory!)

17) Back to school means sicknesses are on their way, find ways to cut down on sickness!  I recently read a study that said that two groups of people were ‘given a cold’. One group slept for 8 hours. The other group had under seven. Which group was more likely to get a respiratory infection? The 7-hour group… THREE TIMES HIGHER!   Find more tips like that right here.

18) Let go of last year and be ready to start fresh with a positive attitude!

19) Start the school routine a weeks before school starts to get yourself and your kids ready!  I love the tip about preparing for back to school emotions. They caught me off guard when our very mature first born started Kindergarten several years ago… and was very nervous and scared to go.   I wish I had prepared for this part a little more.

20) Create a command center to keep all your meal plans, papers and other school materials organized.  I love the ones here (you can buy these to make your own Command Center!)

21) If your child is going to Kindergarten, these back to school items are going to be really helpful for your child!

22) The morning of the first day, have a special gift for you child. It doesn’t have to be fancy.  A great book and crayons or pack of fun pencils might be all that you want to do. I love to give our kids a book like this before their first day:

I like this one, too, if you have a child with First Day Jitters:

23) Have your child fill out a first day interview.  These are adorable and your child can fill it out on their own or with a little help (although I suggest you let them write it… get in some last minute handwriting practice before school starts!)

24) Try lunch box notes to brighten your child’s day. If you don’t want to use chalkboard paint on their things, at least stick a little note in each lunchbox. Here are a few free printable lunch box notes that you can print out to be ready for that first week!

25) Be sure to use your last week before the kids go to school to spend some much-needed one on one time with the kids. This is how we have one on one time in our house of four kids and it has been really helpful and all of our favorite nights!

What are some tips you find to be useful as you prepare for school?  I would love to hear them!