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Brock’s Summer Music Picks

July 1st, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in From Brock
With summer finally here, I thought I might put together a Top 10 list of fun new songs, from Christian artists, that I think all have a great “summer feel” to them.  I’ve tried hard to avoid the more obvious names, at least for the most part, in hopes of introducing you to a new artist or two–or at least nudging you in the direction of an artist you hadn’t previously considered.

I’ve also ranked these songs, in descending order, according to how summer “jammable” they are–to my ear, at least.)

Hopefully, you’ll find at least a few, in this mix, that you like half as much as I do.

10) Aaron Bucks–California

Aaron is a Canadian artist, from Vancouver, real name Aaron Buchholz.  He’s just inked a new record deal, with BEC Recordings, and California is his debut single (under the new moniker).  Sort of a breezy/laid back summer track–artistically, Aaron is the real deal!

9) Francesca Battistelli–The Breakup Song 

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard, from Franny, awesome to have her back making music again.  So, what is she “breaking up” with?  Well…fear!  Love the message.  I also love the throwback vibe of this one.  

8) Social Club Misfits (f. Tauren Wells)–War Cry

If you’re looking for something a bit edgier, to really pump you up, this summer, look no further.  Social Club Misfits + Tauren Wells = the perfect artistic match.

7) Rhett Walker Band–Say Hello 

These guys burst onto the scene in 2012…announced they were discontinuing, in 2016…and then re-emerged, in 2017.  Frankly, as confusing as that may sound, they’re actually sounding better than ever on this track.  The new self-titled EP releases August 10th.

6) Jasmine Murray–No Other Love

Raised by a single mother, Jasmine was exposed early on to stellar vocalists like Christina Aguilera, CeCe Winans, and Yolanda Adams.  She made the top 12, on American Idol, back in season 8, when she was only 16 years old.  Fast-forward nearly 10 years now, and Jasmine’s new Fearless project is fully on point.  Her vocals are nothing short of incredible here.  Really fun track.

5) Citizen Way (f. Bart Millard)–WaveWalker

Citizen Way seemingly came out of nowhere to score a surprise Christian radio hit, last year, with their song Bulletproof.  In a similar musical vein comes WaveWalker.  As you can probably tell, from the title, the song is indeed very “summery”, and you can’t go wrong with a little Bart Millard on the side for good measure.

4) Tedashii (f. Jordan Feliz)–Gotta Live

As Tedashii puts it, Gotta Live is a song “about perseverance, and the idea that there is so much life to be lived we shouldn’t let trials and hardships blind us to that fact“.  Sometimes you just “Gotta Live”!  Jordan Feliz is a great addition here too.

3) Chris August–Delivery

Delivery is from Chris’ new project, just released, called Seasons.  He describes the project as “a little unlike” any record he’s ever done, and also says that he “poured (his) soul into every lyric and every piece of the music“.  All I can say is, it shows!  In many ways, this record has surprised me more than any other this year.  So fresh!  There’s nothing else quite like it, right now, in Christian music.

2) Tiger Drive–Here We Come

Say hello to new indie-trio, Tiger Drive.  These guys take a multi-genre approach, think MuteMath…meets Coldplay…meets Imagine Dragons…meets something totally original.  Here We Come grabbed me right from the get go.  Wow!  I feel like they’re poised for a massive breakthrough.  What a song!

1) Aaron Cole–One More Day

Well, here we are at the very top, of my list, with the absolutely most “jammable” song of your summer 2018.  Aaron Cole’s One More Day, simply put, is the song of the summer!  Just listen & you’ll hear what I mean.

Honourable mentions go to (the always encouraging) Mandisa, with her newest track, Good News…and the long-awaited return, of For King & Country, with Joy.

To hear all these songs and others for the background music of your summer check out CHRI’s Spotify playlist A CHRI Summer. Enjoy the tunes…and have a great summer!! 


Wednesday Bookmark Summer Reading List

July 1st, 2018 | No Comments | Posted in From Brock

The Best of Wednesday Bookmarks: Summer Reading List

With summer already flying by, we thought we could help solidify your summer reading list. This list is compiled of books featured on the Wednesday Bookmark who have been deemed the ‘best of’ books featured on CHRI!

Throughout the summer, hear which books were 2018’s ‘Best of’ Wednesday Bookmarks. Tune in to the Morning Express Wednesdays at 9:00 A.M. for Brock’s non-fiction Wednesday bookmark interviews. Tune in to the Home Stretch Wednesdays at 4:30 P.M. for Care’s Kids and Youth Wednesday Bookmark interviews.

All books can be purchased from Books for Christ.

From Brock: My Favourite Leadership Podcast

February 3rd, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in From Brock

brock_150In 2016, the CHRI staff decided to invest in Donald Miller‘s “StoryBrand” course.  From a business perspective, it was probably the smartest thing we did all year!  We now filter nearly every team decision through Miller’s “storybrand framework”.  Given how excellent the course was, many of us have also now started listening to Miller’s (business & leadership coaching) podcast.  Here’s a link to his 2016 “best-of” episode, incorporating the 10 most helpful takeaways from last year’s episodes.

It’s been a wonderful year here on the Building a Story Brand podcast. I want to say thanks to everyone for listening. We’re trying to keep J.J. in line as his newfound minor celebrity status is starting to go to his head. But we have learned a ton from our guests, and I hope you have too.

millerAs we close out the year, we thought it would be fun to select clips from 10 conversations we’ve had on the podcast during 2016 and highlight our biggest takeaways from them.

If you’re traveling over the holidays, this is a great way to find helpful episodes you may have missed or revisit your favorites for fresh insight.

Listen to this week’s episode for select clips and takeaways. I’ve also summarized them for you here with links to each full episode. Enjoy!


Takeaway #1: Your customers are the hero, not your brand.

The Canlis Brothers of Seattle’s legendary restaurant, Canlis

As a fine-dining restaurant, Canlis is in the business of relationships — not just with their customers, but also with their staff. And relationships aren’t transactions, they’re actual relationships. Learn how to instill a focus on the customer in your entire culture, including how you hire and treat your employees.


Takeaway #2: Let customers drive your business, not your product.

Ryan Deiss of Digital Marketer

Ryan reminds us that we have to think in terms of the value we bring to our customers, not simply the product we sell. Otherwise, you’ll get so focused on your product that you’ll lose sight of what people really want. (This advice might have saved Blockbuster and Blackberry!)


Takeaway #3: Keep giving your customers more and more value for their dollar.

David Salyers, VP of National and Regional Marketing for Chick-fil-A

Many businesses try to take as much money as possible from their customers. But they’re missing an important part of the equation, which is detrimental to their success. If they focus instead on adding value for their customers, they’ll up their loyalty, diminish their advertising costs, and have more satisfied customers. Chick-fil-A does this intentionally, and we can learn a lot from their perspective.


Takeaway #4: Be clear about how you help your customers succeed.

Dave Ramsey, Personal finance author, TV host, and entrepreneur

We all love a good story. Businesses that communicate clearly succeed. Dave Ramsey and his team have been doing this intuitively for more than a decade. They break down their personal finance plan into baby steps, which enables their customers to understand exactly what their lives will look like if they engage with Dave and his products.


Takeaway #5: Your clothes are a part of your brand.

Toi Sweeney, award-winning stylist from QVC and executive image consultant

Before we ever say a word, people make big assumptions about us simply from how we’re dressed and styled. Minding your appearance is a part of your brand’s story, and Toi Sweeney explains what we communicate when we wear particular colors. Our clothes are telling a story about us and our brand. Listen to Toi and make sure it’s the one you want to communicate.


Takeaway #6: Time is a resource to be invested.

Rory Vaden, Founder of Southwest Consulting

We all get the same 168 hours in a week. But some people seem to do more. Why? Because they’ve learned how to invest their time wisely so it comes back to them in surprising ways. If you’re constantly overwhelmed by the volume of work you have to do, Rory’s radical perspective on time management will be a game-changer for you.


Takeaway #7: You can accomplish more by doing less.

Claire Diaz Ortiz, entrepreneur and author, one of the first employees at Twitter

One of my favorite books from this year was Design Your Day by my friend Claire Diaz Ortiz. She and I talk about the importance of focusing your time and attention on the 20% of tasks that give you the greatest impact. It’s a great reminder that saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to several others.


Takeaway #8: Take time away to get clear on your vision.

Ken Blanchard, leadership expert and author of The One-Minute Manager and other bestsellers

One of our biggest challenges as leaders is to rally our staffers around a big vision. Most of think we’ve nailed it, but when we ask our employees to articulate the vision, we find they’re not as clear on it as we thought they’d be. You’ve got to keep articulating it to them and refreshing it for yourself, which is what Ken and I dig into in this episode.


Takeaway #9: Develop habits to make incremental progress over time.

Ben Crane, professional golfer on the PGA Tour

A lot of the successful people I meet seem to have healthy routines and habits. The make a plan and then execute on that plan each and every day, never allowing themselves to get derailed. As a professional golfer, Ben knows that there’s no “silver bullet” to his success. Just great habits that add up to it. You don’t have to be a golfer to get inspired by his perspective on pursuing excellence, no matter what business you’re in.


Takeaway #10: Outwork everybody.

Scott Hamilton, Olympic gold medalist, figure skater, and philanthropist

Scott offers so much wisdom and inspiration in our conversation, but one of my favorite takeaways is simply to outwork everybody. It’s not always the most talented person who succeeds. It’s the person who is committed to doing the work each and every day. It’s an encouraging word for us, as business leaders, that our hard work and determination can give us an edge on the competition, too.



I hope the Building a Story Brand podcast has helped you (and your business!) grow this year. We’ve got a TON of fantastic guests lined up for 2017, plus more stories of how real businesses like yours have cut through the noise, clarified their messaging, and seen a big growth in their bottom line.