Hey guys it’s Sam, with my first post of November! Did anyone have a good Halloween, and a good Halloween special? Of course you did; I’m the one narrating it. Anyway, I went to Illinois with my dad and sister a couple weeks ago, and we went to a baptist church. Although they were closed most of the time (in a dreamless sleep), my eyes were really opened towards Jesus Christ. What do you mean you don’t know who He is? He was the one that died on the cross to forgive our sins, he rose again on the 3rd day, and all that jazz. Well, not only did the super-super-super-super-olden times people write over one thousand pages about his adventures that now ranks as the best-selling book ever, but probably tens of thousands of people loved Him so much, they grouped together and made bands in his mercy. The first one I’m going to talk about is the 28-year old Hillsong Church from Australia.

With a seat count of over a thousand Jesus freaks (no offense), Hillsong began way back in late summer 1983 in the exact same city our beloved AC/DC began…the capital, Sydney. A Pentecostal “megachurch”, pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston began the church as the Hills Christian Life Centre in, not on, Baulkham Hills. Over 20,000 people attend services each week. Their music has topped Australian charts, scoring both gold and platinum hits. The main live Hillsong has 21 albums (counting the upcoming 2012 one) since mid-summer 1992 with The Power of Your Love. But then the name started to branch, and pretty soon came the births of all sorts of Hillsongs, including Hillsong United, Hillsong London, heck, even Hillsong Kids!

The most recent album to date is God Is Able, releasing at the end of July this year as the twentieth album. Songs on the list include “Go”, “Alive in Us”, the title track “God Is Able”, and “The Lost Are Found”. I personally have some Hillsong favorites.

The first song was “Evermore”, the third track from their thirteenth album (lucky number) in 2004, For All You’ve Done. I like this song not just because it has the most epic guitarists ever on a live worship song, it also has a good Christian theme in the song. The next one was “Desert Song” , also the third track of their seventeenth album in 2008, This Is Our God. This song is one of my favorites because…dang it, why do their guitarists have to be so awesomely trained?

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Another band my family likes is called Jesus Culture, straight out of Redding, California in 1999 where the first-ever conference was held. This ministry hosts 3 conferences in their “birthplace” every year, alongside Las Vegas, Dallas, Cleveland, and more. We got more recently introduced to it than Hillsong, so we don’t know as much good songs…or at least I don’t.

That song is the only favorite I can remember, “Your Love Never Fails” from their fifth album last year, Come Away. I also gotta give some thumbs to the guitarists here. It is so that every worship band has to have some amazing instrumentalists.

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An old band that we used to like is an Australian all-boy band called Newsboys, originating from one of the most…interestingly named cities I’ve seen since Germany’s Dusseldorf, but this one is called Mooloolaba. Read now, LOL later. Got it? This group has been alive for twenty-six years since 1985, and they’ve been making pretty good music through their career. Did you know that there were twelve former Newsboys in the past? That has to be a world record of a band with the most former members. Their first album rang in 1988, called Read All About It, and their latest album, Born Again, came in summer 2010. Check out a couple of their songs!

Some of the world’s most classic Christian songs. Period. Need I say more?

And the experience doesn’t stop there. There are lots of other worshiping groups out there that have probably thousands more introduced to God’s light, including Newsboys also from Australia, but from the hilariously-named city, Mooloolaba. There are lots of ways you can get closer to God: praying, spreading the good news, reading the bible, etc!

So tell me: is Jesus your homeboy?

– Sam

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