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Things You Didn't Know About NightVision Artists

With Nightvision’s return to Olathe this month, here’s a few details about some of the headline performers that you may not know.

Mercy Me
Mercy Me
Mercy Me’s newest album Welcome To The New contains the song “Flawless.”  Here’s what Bart Millard says about this song:
   “I grew up with a legalistic background, and even though it was all about grace, there were always three more things you could do to make life better. But of course, I’d do ten: I was an overachiever. That’s why I started a band; if we weren’t giving God our best, he wasn’t happy with us.
   “That relentless drive almost finished the band as well. Burned out from giving so much of his life and energy to MercyMe, and feeling as though he fell short somehow, Millard was ready to turn in his resignation.
   “That’s when an old friend – a youth pastor from the first church camp MercyMe played 20 years ago – popped back into his life with a most unexpected message. “He said, ’There is nothing in our life to make Christ love us any more than he does.’
   “And I thought that was a novel concept, but I didn’t buy it: I have a wretched heart, and I’m nothing without God. But then he said, ‘Because of the cross you are a brand new creation. You can’t worry about the heart that can’t be trusted. You have a brand new heart and mind in Christ. And I thought, ‘Wow, that’s something I never heard growing up. There’s no way I can sabotage this.’”

David Crowder
David Crowder
With his long, bushy beard and black retro eyeglasses, David Crowder is hard to miss in a lineup of contemporary Christian worship leaders (or any other lineup, for that matter!).  He started the David Crowder Band 20 years ago while leading worship at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. 
   In 2012, they disbanded.  The band now records under the name “The Digital Age” while David has gathered a group of new musicians together who perform simply as “Crowder.”

For King And Country
For King & Country
This band was formerly known as “Joel & Luke” as in Joel and Luke Smallbone.  Not ringing any bells?  You might recognize their famous sister, Rebecca Smallbone.  No?  How about her stage name: Rebecca St. James!  The two Smallbone brothers moved to Nashville with Rebecca’s family way back in 1991. 
   After signing a record deal in 2009, they chose the name “For King & Country” which is the battle cry of English soldiers willing to lay down their lives for their king and their country.  Luke adds, “Now it has become our mission to lay down our lives for our King and our country.”  (We’re not quite sure which country he refers to: America, England, or Australia?  Guess it doesn’t matter as long as you know who your King is!)
   By the way, the photo shows Joel and his wife, singer Moriah Peters, with Luke and his wife Courtney.

Fancesca Battistelli
Francesca Battistelli
Francesca Battistelli’s parents met while on the national tour of the musical “The King and I.”  Her father was the assistant conductor and her mother played Anna, the female lead opposite Yul Brynner’s King of Siam.  This helps explain why Francesca’s early ambition was to be a Broadway performer. 
   But at a youth camp, the seed of Christian music was planted.  She released her debut album in 2008, and married Matthew Godwin of the group Newsong in 2009. 
   She could have changed her Italian last name to something easier to spell (like “Goodwin”) but didn’t.  As she sings in “You Know My Name”:
   I don't need my name in lights
   I'm famous in my Father's eyes
   Make no mistake
   He knows my name

Greg Laurie
Greg Laurie
No, he won’t be singing (I don’t think!).  But Pastor Greg Laurie will preach on Friday night, July 10, just before Mercy Me takes the stage at Nightvision.  If you listen to A New Beginning (6:30 pm, Mon-Fri on KJOL), you may already know a lot about Greg’s personal story.  For example:

  --Greg became a Christian through the preaching of self-styled “hippie preacher” Lonnie Frisbee, who was a key figure in the development of Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel ministry.
  --Greg was born out of wedlock in 1952 to a Marilyn Monroe look-alike mother who was an alcoholic, married seven times.  He led her to the Lord one month before she died.
  --His 33-year-old son Christopher was killed in a car accident in 2008.  Chris was a prodigal son who had “come back,” said Greg.  “He really committed his life to Christ in the last two years of his life.  He was using his gifts for God's glory."

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