About Traces Gospel choir
Traces Gospel Choir, so named because the members can “trace” their roots to so many different backgrounds (African, European, Scandinavian, American, Indonesian, Sami and more), started in 2006 with 10 members, and has now grown to a 18 member woman’s choir. After a year practicing and recruiting members, Traces began performing in public, and people began to recognize the warm and slightly rough “American” sound the choir had in contrast to many other gospel choirs in Norway
Traces Gospel Choir has collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Magnolia Jazz Band, Karpe Diem, Trine Rein, Ost & Kjex, Rune Andersen, Espen Beranek Holm, Otto Graf, Odd Børetzen and Wenche Myhre. The choir has appeared on television and radio, including God Morgen Norge, NRK TV-aksjon 2010, and 21 August 2011 at the Memorial Ceremony in Oslo with Karpe Diem on the song "Tusen Tegninger". In November 2011, Traces finished its fifth season performing at the "Gospel Brunch" at Rica Victoria Hotel in Oslo, together with their regular band Einstein.
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Focus on Jesus
by Richard Cox, Author of I, We, Us: A Journey of Personal Growth and Development
“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection] … (Hebrews 12:2) AMP
We are living in a time where there are so many daily distractions that get in our way. Our lives are filled with balancing our time between work, school, kids, church, rehearsals, etc. All of us have experienced life events that have caused us to somehow lose our focus for one reason or another. It’s sometime hard to concentrate with our minds and lives on Jesus. Our minds sometimes drift about our past involvements and memories of our past that can be strong distractions, especially in times of stress. The key to bringing balance and order to our Christian lives is by focusing on Jesus. This is accomplished by constantly seeking Jesus by being obedient to His Word, seeking Him with family matters, job situations, church situations, etc.
So many times, we have a tendency to focus on the wrong things and choices we have made in life. We are more inclined to focus on our experience, on ourselves or on others instead of Jesus. I encourage you today to focus on Jesus --- Christ living in you. In Galatians 2:20(KJV) it says “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” By taking the time to examine Jesus through pray and His Word you will find that it is profitable and fulfilling for your life. Focus on “Him in you,” not your natural self and experience a life changing moment.
We are not only to see Jesus but beyond that, we are to perceive His significance and His spiritual meaning. You will find in Hebrews 2:9 (KJV) where it says, “but we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” In Biblical times the people were urged to make a habit of looking away from everything and focus exclusively on Jesus. It was not considered a Christian option but a way of life. We ought to be living our lives spotlighting Jesus as the focal point in our hearts. We need to be reminded to make a habit of focusing on Jesus. Our lives should be so Christ-centered that others in our homes, communities, jobs and churches should see the light of Christ shining in you.
If we could only learn to focus on Jesus and let him work out the solution in our problems. One of the hardest parts of life is keeping our focus on Jesus. Sometimes some of us get this feeling that Jesus is too busy to solve our problem. We do understand that Jesus is the ultimate multi-tasker He can control the universe, run the complex ecology of Earth and still be intimately involved in the lives of billions of saints. There is no limit to God’s power.
Here are some ways to maintain your focus in Jesus:
Focus on His Promises to Us. We remember the promises He made to us. If God spoke a promise, He will fulfill it. Isaiah 55:11(KJV) says, “so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” It would be completely contrary to God’s character to go back on anything He’s ever said. He never changes, so His Word is as reliable today as it was over 2,000 years.
- Focus on your Faith. We believe that Jesus already has the situation under control. Sometimes we might not like the solution. That’s when we must reply on our faith in God comes in. It’s not enough just to believe that Jesus can handle the problem. We also have to believe that He always does what’s best for us. Jesus knows and controls the future. He arranges everything to work into his plan for our lives. In Romans 8:28 (KJV) it says “and we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
- Focus on your worship. When you really focus of Jesus, what happens is a change occurs in both the focus on your life and your worship. Your focused life can build a stronger relationship between you and the Lord. God will reveal Himself in a greater dimension to you because of your faithfulness to seek Him and His will. God has also created us to be worshippers, and worshippers worship His Majesty. In John 4:24 (NIV) it says, “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." God inhabitants your praise for worshipping Him for just who He is.
If you place your focus on Jesus as a lifestyle it boils down to recognizing who you are “in Him.” Then you will find out how you can focus on the correct view of yourself with Jesus living inside of you. Knowing this, you can then step into every situation of life as in Ephesians 6:10,11 (NIV) where it says, “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand against the devil’s schemes.” If you make it your life’s priority to focus on Jesus, one victory will lead to another, your faith in Him will grow and your walk with God will never be the same.
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