Browse > Home / Archive: November 2014

| Subscribe via RSS

Care Baldwin reveals the story behind “The Light of Christmas”

November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Artist Spotlight
Care Baldwin - The Light of Christmas - GMA

What is GMA:

“GMA Canada” is the Gospel Music Association of Canada created in 1974 with a mission to promote the growth of Christian music in Canada. Associated with GMA in the United States and originally called “CGMA”, this non-profit organization aims to build up the profile of Christian recording artists, songwriters, and producers.

In addition to educational programs to develop its members, GMA Canada also celebrates achievements with the Annual Covenant Awards.

The Annual Covenant Awards recognize achievements in Christian and Gospel music across Canada in several categories. I will be attending this year’s awards banquet on Thursday, November 13th in Langley, B.C.


As a worship leader at Sequoia Community Church, I have spent years when asked if I was ever going to record an album answering friends and congregation members “I don’t really write music!” But, God was constantly nagging at me and opening doors. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Although I never dreamt of being an “artist”, music has been and always will be my life. So, why not use these gifts and make something of it!

Finally, in Fall of 2013 I picked up the phone and called multiple Covenant Award winning producer Andy Horrocks to set the wheels in motion on what became my first “recording artist” experience!

The idea:

After discussing my passions, inspirations, and vocal preferences with Andy, we went to work. The idea for “The Light Of Christmas” started with me wanting to do a song that reminds us to love one another just as Christ (the baby) loved us… and not just on Christmas when carols are sung and gifts are exchanged, but all the time. With so much hate in the world, why are we waiting until there’s no one left around us to share in the gifts of Christmas?!

Andy brought together a team of talented Canadians and set to work on putting my ideas to music.

How it all works:

By October, I was in Kitchener, Ontario sitting in AME Recording Studio with Andy Horrocks, Ian Tanner and multiple Covenant Award winner Ali Matthews.

The song was amazing!!! After a few tweaks, we were ready to record.

The whole “in-studio” process took a few days. Sleeping in an apartment off the studio with my mom…

P1050344-cropDay 1: Learn the song.

Day 2: Bring in the musicians. Jazz pianist Mike Janzen among others recorded the music on the tracks.

Day 3: Record my main vocals.

Day 4: Re-record any main vocals and record back-up vocals/layers.

Once my part was done (and I was advised that, as with any artist, it never truly feels “done”) the rest was up to Andy to work his magic!

God’s favour was all over this entire project each step of the way. Not only were we working with a tight deadline, but the musicians were available when we needed them and I never had to travel back to Kitchener to re-do anything! Lol

“The Light of Christmas” turned out to be everything I had hoped for!

The nomination:

Something I never expected was a GMA Canada Covenant Award nomination. Getting the chance to experience a different side of the music industry and the privilege of working with such talented music-makers was gift enough for me. Discovering “The Light of Christmas” was nominated for Seasonal Song of the Year made it even more rewarding!

No matter what the outcome on November 13th, I am so thankful for Andy Horrocks and his team, the support of my CHRI family, listeners who request the song and radio stations who play it… and to God for the constant reminder that you can’t let the gifts He gives you go un-used.

Download “The Light of Christmas” here:

Learn more about GMA Canada here:

A word from Joyce Meyer

November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Lifestyle
joyce-meyerHas anyone ever hurt your feelings? Maybe you found out somebody lied to you or you didn’t get the raise at work that you deserved, or maybe you were rejected or physically abused. Well, one of the most important things we need to learn is how to trust God and walk by faith when people don’t treat us the way they should. Our natural response is to get angry when we’re mistreated, and feeling angry is not wrong. But God’s Word reminds us that we shouldn’t return evil for evil or anger for anger.

Have you ever noticed that being angry never makes anything better? I know because I used to have a quick temper. In fact, I was angry more than I wasn’t. Sometimes, I voiced my aggression, and sometimes it was just seething on the inside of me. The problem is, if we have unresolved anger, we either explode or we implode; we either blow up at somebody or we fall apart on the inside. And a lot of times we take it out on a person who has nothing to do with what we’re angry about. It’s just a miserable way to live.

But getting upset is not the way God wants us to fight our battles. Instead, when somebody hurts us, we can choose to trust God with our pain or injustice and overcome anger with good. Romans 12:17-21 (AMP) says, “Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for [God’s] wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is Mine, I will repay (requite), says the Lord. But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome (master) evil with good.”

What God is saying in those verses is there’s a right and wrong way to respond to injustice. We can get angry and get back at the person who hurt us or we can fight the way God fights, trusting Him to be our Vindicator while we bless our enemies and do good (Psalm 37:1-3). It’s certainly not easy to love our enemies and bless the people who have hurt us (Luke 6:27). In fact, this is probably one of the most difficult scriptures in the Word of God to follow. I was sexually abused by my father for close to 15 years so I understand how painful and impossible it might seem to believe you could actually love your enemies. I’m not trying to make light of that. But there is true freedom in doing the right thing. And we can choose to do what’s right no matter how we feel. We have to stop being afraid of hard things and press in and trust God because the truth is He will give us the strength and grace to do anything we need to do.

It’s so much harder to live with anger than it is to live with God’s peace, love and joy. And we have to take responsibility for our behavior. One of the best things we can do is learn how to pray for the people we’re mad at. The first thing to do when somebody mistreats you is pray, “God, this hurts and I’m angry about it, but I know my anger won’t solve the problem or change the person. So I trust You. I’m going to stay sweet and keep being nice. I’m going to keep doing good because that’s what You put me here for. And as I trust You and go about blessing others, I’m going to watch You vindicate me and do what needs to be done in this situation.” That is the way to fight and win your battles!

Make a decision today that you’re going to refuse to live angry. Ask God to help you take control of your feelings. And if you do act out in anger, confess it and God will forgive you. There will be a lot of battles in life, but God has an amazing plan for you! As you put your focus on Him as your Vindicator, it becomes easier and easier to conquer angry feelings and walk in peace. And you will be a blessing as you overcome evil with good!

Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 90 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Do Yourself a Favor…Forgive (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit

View Source

Christmas Listener Appreciation Night with Carolyn Arend

November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Concerts


Recent Wednesday Bookmark author Mary Hunt shares her family’s countdown to Christmas tradition

November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Family
If you’re a little put off by the mention of Christmas this early in the year, hear me out. I’ve got a great idea for how you can really enjoy season, bless your children and start a new family tradition all at the same time. I guarantee that the kids in your life are going to love you for it, too. But it requires some amount of preparation. That’s the reason it may appear that I’m rushing things a bit.

Step 1. Between now and Dec. 1, collect 24 different books that are in keeping with your family’s holiday values and beliefs. You can find books at thrift stores, library sales, book stores and online.

Step 2. Wrap each book as a beautiful gift. Place all 24 gifts, marked only with a number between 1 and 24, in a large basket or festively-decorated box. Keep all of the wrapped gifts hidden until Dec

Step 3. Each night before bed allow the children to select and open one of these “gifts” that corresponds with the date on the calendar, then read it together. Repeat each night through Christmas Eve.

Step 4. Put the books away in a secret place and you’ll be ready to go again next year—and every year—starting with Step 2.

What makes this an excellent tradition is that it is to be enjoyed over a three-to-four-week period. It fulfills the longing in all of us for an evenly paced holiday season.

There are three basic types of Christmas books for children: books about the Nativity—some based on the Bible, others on legends; books about Santa Claus, gift giving, and the like; and books that relate to one or more of the above but don’t quite fit into any category. In order to decide what type of book you want, it’s best to take the time to read through books that interest you or to read reviews before you buy children’s Christmas books.

Don’t have money available to invest in books? Perhaps you can borrow books from friends or relatives. Or put together your list at your public library, then make your reservations early so you can pick them up right after Thanksgiving. Make sure you know your library’s renewal policy. Many libraries will renew books by phone or online.

With weeks to plan, you have a world of possibilities for locating just the right books for your family. Search garage sales, used bookstores and other resources.

New Christmas books are available in retail bookstores everywhere starting in early November, but you will have a short window of opportunity. However, you can shop online anytime of year.

While this project is perfect for families, it can be easily adapted by grandparents, teachers and libraries. No children in your life? This is a project you could put together and then send to a family in a faraway place that would not otherwise be able to celebrate Christmas every day during December.

Get creative with where you’ll read these wonderful stories. One idea is to keep favorite blankets piled near the fireplace. The more special you make this daily event, the more traditional it will become for your family.

Can’t imagine how you’ll ever find the time to research and review kids Christmas books? Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time researching, reading, collecting and asking for input from lots of people who love Christmas and books. I’m happy to share my list.

There’s no time to waste. December will be here before we know it.

The Story of Holly and Ivy, by Rumer Godden (Puffin, 32 pages, ISBN 978 0142416839). Orphaned Ivy finds her Christmas wish fulfilled with the help of a lonely couple and a doll named Holly.

The Best Christmas Present of All, by Linda Jennings (Puffin, 32 pages, ISBN 978 0140566468). After his elderly owner suffers a heart attack, Buster the dog is sent to live with the man’s grandchildren and in the confusion tries to return home.

Peef the Christmas Bear, by Tom Hegg (Waldman House Press, 48 pages, ISBN 978 0931674266). A Christmas teddy bear made by Santa comes to life and yearns to belong and bring happiness to one small child.

Room for a Little One, by Martin Waddell (Margaret K. McElderry, 32 pages, ISBN 978 1416925187). ‘Tis the eve of Christmas—a cold winter’s night—when Kind Ox offers to share his stable by the inn.

The Fourth King: The Story of the Other Wise Man, by Ted Sieger (Candlewick, 48 pages, ISBN 0763631213). The story tells us of another wise man beyond the well-known three. Every time he tries to catch up with the three wise men, he would encounter a situation where he needs to help a person or people.

The Tale of Three Trees, by Angela Elwell Hunt (Cook Communications, 25 pages, ISBN 978 0745917436). Three trees dream of what they want to become when they grow up. Their dreams come true in the most unexpected of ways as one becomes the manger, another Christ’s boat, and the third the cross upon which he was crucified.

The Christmas Child, by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, 48 pages, ISBN 978 0849917684). This Christmas treasure, formerly titled The Christmas Cross features the story of a Chicago journalist who discovers the meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski (Candlewick, 40 pages, ISBN 978 0763636296). A tender, elegant and poignant story about the spiritual reawakening of a bitter man.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson (Harper Collins, 128 pages, ISBN 978 0064402750). A hilarious and touching story of the transformation of the Herdmans, the worst kids in the history of the world. Christmas becomes new and real in some pretty surprising ways.

Eight Nights of Hanukkah, by Michael J. Rosen (Scholastic, 32 pages, ISBN 978 0439365741). A story written from a child’s perspective about how one particular family celebrates Hanukkah.

The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg (Houghton Mifflin, 32 pages, ISBN 978 0395389492). A little boy who still believes in Santa takes a magical train ride on Christmas Eve to the North Pole.

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad, by Mercer Mayer (Random House, 24 pages, ISBN 978 0307118868). Trying to be good for Christmas without bungling everything is difficult for this little one.

A Pussycat’s Christmas, by Margaret Wise Brown (Katherine Tegen Books, 32 pages, ISBN 978 978 0061869785). A Pussycat Christmas is made up of sights and sounds that capture the mystery and beauty of the holiday.

Littlest Christmas Tree, by Janie Jasin (Book Peddlers, 32 pages, ISBN 978 0916773816). The smallest seedling on the tree farm dreams about the things she could become and realizes becoming a Christmas tree is one of the many options.

The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear, by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Random House, 32 pages, ISBN 978 978 0679805939). Sister Bear enjoys Christmas preparations, especially getting her list ready—but on Christmas morning she realizes what Christmas is really all about.

The Nutcracker, by Susan Jeffers (HarperCollins, 40 pages, ISBN 978-0060743864). An engaging treatment of a classic story that is not just a Christmas story, but a wonderful parable for every season.

Morris’ Disappearing Bag, by Rosemary Wells (Puffin Books, 40 pages, ISBN 978 0142300046). It’s Christmas Day and Morris is missing. This warm and humorous story proves that sometimes the littlest bunny gets the last laugh.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss (Random House, 64 pages, ISBN 978 0394800790). The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-ville’s holiday celebrations and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway.

Max’s Christmas, by Rosemary Wells (Viking Juvenile, 32 pages, ISBN 978 0670887156). Max, the irrepressible bunny, sneaks downstairs to wait for Santa with unexpected results!

Red Ranger Came Calling, by Berkeley Breathed (Little Brown, 32 pages, ISBN 978 0316102490). A cynical young man, the Red Ranger of Mars, meets his match in a retired Santa.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens (Sterling, 96 pages, ISBN 978 1402766909). Probably one of the most beloved Christmas stories in history, this has it all: heroes, villains, ghosts, time travel: long-lost love and a happy ending. You may want to opt for this condensed version of the full-length book.

Littlest Angel, by Charles Tazewell (Ideals, 32 pages, ISBN 978 0824955755). Adapted from the 1946 original about a cherub and his present to the Son of God.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, by Charles Schulz (It Books, 128 pages, ISBN 978-0762416011). Everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit—except for Charlie Brown. It seems like everybody has forgotten what Christmas is truly about. Note: This is the mini book and so sweet. It contains the whole story, and kids love its tiny-ness.

The Night Before Christmas, by Clement Clarke Moore (Applesauce Press, 44 pages, ISBN 978-1604332377). One of the many variations of the classic story, with delightful illustrations by Charles Santore.

View Source

Official video for Francesca Battistelli’s “He Knows My Name”

November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Artist Spotlight
Featuring the inspiring testimonies of four Mercy Ministries graduates: four brave, strong women who have seen and overcome more than their fair share of adversity. Share this with someone who needs hope and encouragement today!

365 Days of Origami

November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Lifestyle
365 Days of OrigamiEach day for the past year, Ross Symons took the time to fold tiny horses, frogs, cats, boats and more. His origami creations have earned him an Instagram following of more than 42,000 people impressed with his dedication to the craft.He described how this obsession with origami started on Instagram’s blog: “I started with the crane and I lost count of how many times I folded it. What I didn’t realize at the time is how origami was going to become such a massive part of my life.” His brother asked him to fold a crane nearly 12 years ago. He considers the time he spends folding a figure to be“the most important for measuring the success of his work: the more discipline and patience he has, the faster he folds the figure.”

Visit his Instagram Page to see more of his creations, here.

Budget Cooking: Feed 4 for $10

November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments | Posted in Healthy Living
Cooking on a budget? Don’t skimp on nutrition! You’ll feel good about feeding your family these creatively delectable recipes:
Budget Cooking

View Source