Thursday, December 15, 2011

Francis Chan - Crazy Love

Author - Francis Chan
Title - Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Publisher - David C. Cook

Pages - 205
Street Date - May 1, 2008

Personally, I love this book though I think it's not a book for everyone. I personally think it's not a book someone just gets for another as a gift. It's the type of book one walks up to the shelf to pick up themselves. It's a intentional book. It's a book for christians who are tired of the mediocre and religious cliches.

Author Francis Chan who is the founding pastor of cornerstone church in Simi valley California encourages Christians in this powerful piece to dare to take the bible literally. If we really knew how much God loves us, it would entirely change our service to him. Personally getting to the middle of the this classic, I was raising a number of questions in my mind against the author's views but that shows more of the pop Christianity we have been fed with as a church through various books. The last chapter titled 'the crux of the matter' is worth the price of the book but one cannot fully grasp the truth in it without reading the entire book.

'Crazy Love' is a must read for every Christian. Your faith would surely be reshaped and be seen in a better perspective as Francis Chan leads you through God's word on an urgent message this generation really needs to hear. You can't afford not to get Crazy Love. No one is gonna buy this one for you so you wouldn't think them crazy. Get crazy love, it's the beginning of an experience some would definitely term crazy.

"Christians are like manure: spread them out and they help everything grow better, but keep them in one big pile and they stink horribly.” - Francis Chan (From Crazy Love)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Robert Whitlow - Life Support

Author - Robert Whitlow
Title - Life Support ( The Santee Series, Book 1)
Publisher - Thomas Nelson
Pages - 400
Release Date - July 17, 2003

When Baxter Richardson is pushed off a high cliff by his newlywed wife who grew up in the Appalachian Mountains and is haunted by the unseen from her past, a heavy drama unfolds and female attorney Alex Lindale finds herself undone in the aftermath. Baxter Richardson survives the fall but is held on life support as Ezra (his father) and Rena (his wife) battles over his life. Their motives on retaining and terminating his life are called into question though Rena presents a written document  that states Baxter does not want to be kept alive unnaturally.
In this Frank Peretti meet John Grisham styled novel, Author and attorney Robert Whitlow brings up a tale that would ring in our ears like sweet music long after the last page has been turned.
  • The battle over a young man’s life
  • A young woman who is tormented and yet a torment
  • A fine pianist awaking from the throes of a divorce
  • An attorney who has it all together but is finding out as the story unfolds that nothing was really in its right place.
These stories collide in the one story titled ‘Life Support’. Though not so action packed, Life Support is one I highly recommend. Robert Whitlow’s writing is somewhat touching, inviting and captivating with plots that would excite the reader’s imagination, and the little quotes at the chapter beginnings are a plus. For lovers of courtroom suspense-filled thrillers of the likes of John Grisham and heavy spiritual themes of the likes of Erin Healy and Frank Peretti, You just got a new recommendation – Life Support


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grammy 2012 [My Predictions]

I woke up this morn to the news (Thanks to the amazing Yada site) that the Grammy nominations were out. So excited about that and below are my predictions.

Category 1 - Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance

1. Do Everything
Steven Curtis Chapman
Track from: re:Creation
[Sparrow Records]

2. Alive (Mary Magdalene)
Natalie Grant
Track from: Music Inspired By The Story
[WOW Joint Venture/EMI CMG]

3. Your Love
Brandon Heath
Track from: Leaving Eden
[Reunion Records]

4. Jesus
Le’Andria Johnson
Track from: The Awakening Of Le’Andria Johnson
[Music World Gospel]

5. I Lift My Hands
Chris Tomlin
Track from: And If Our God Is For Us…
[Sparrow Records / sixstepsrecords]

Okay some songs I really love which were released this year aren’t on this list and I really don’t know what Natalie Grant’s Alive is doing on this list, it’s my least favourite song on the Story album. ‘My Heart’ by Chris Tomlin would have made a better cut. And Le’Andria Johnson’s Jesus is just the normal gospel tune, nothing special from my point of view. So and the winner is
Do Everything by Steven Curtis Chapman

Category 2 - Best Gospel Song

1. Hello Fear
Kirk Franklin, songwriter (Kirk Franklin)
Track from: Hello Fear
[Verity Gospel Music Group/Fo Yo Soul Ent.; Publisher: Aunt Gertrude Music]

2. Sitting With Me
Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell, Gerald Haddon & Tammi Haddon, songwriters (Mary Mary)
Track from: Something Big
[Columbia Records; Publishers: Precious Baby Music/T Bella Music/EMI April Music, It's Tea Tyme, That's Plum Song]

3. Spiritual
Donald Lawrence, songwriter (Donald Lawrence & Co. Featuring Blanche McAllister-Dykes)
Track from: YRM (Your Righteous Mind)
[Verity Gospel Music Group; Publisher: Quiet Water Entertainment]

4. Trust Me
Richard Smallwood, songwriter (Richard Smallwood & Vision)
Track from: Promises
[Verity Gospel Music Group; Publishers: Universal-Z Tunes/T.Autumn Music]

5. Window
Canton Jones, songwriter (Canton Jones)
Track from: Dominionaire
[Cajo Records; Publisher: CAJO Music]

Without Much Ado, The winner is
Sitting With Me by MaryMary. That song is just awesome! Though Window by Canton Jones almost got this one. It’s a great song too.

Category 3 - Best Contemporary Christian Music Song

1. Blessings
Laura Story, songwriter (Laura Story)
Track from: Blessings
[Fair Trade Services; Publishers: New Spring/Gleaning Publishing]

2. Hold Me
Jamie Grace Harper, Toby McKeehan & Christopher Stevens, songwriters (Jamie Grace Featuring Tobymac)
[Gotee Records; Publishers: Universal Music, Brentwood Benson Tunes, Songs of Third Base/Chriscendo Music, Meaux Mercy/Achtober Songs]
Track from: One Song at a Time

3. I Lift My Hands
Louie Giglio, Matt Maher & Chris Tomlin, songwriters (Chris Tomlin)
Track from: And If Our God Is For Us…
[Sparrow Records/sixstepsrecords; Publishers: sixsteps Music/ Songs/Vamos Publishing/Thankyou Music/ Publishing]

4. Strong Enough
Matthew West, songwriter (Matthew West)
Track from: The Story Of Your Life
[Sparrow Records; Publishers: External Combustion Music/Songs For Delaney/Songs of Southside Independent Music]

5. Your Love
Brandon Heath; Jason Ingram, songwriters (Brandon Heath)
Track from: Leaving Eden
[Reunion Records; Publishers: Sony/ATV Cross Keys Publishing/Big Skwawka Music, Sony/ATV Timber Publishing/Windsor Hill Music]

There's just something about Laura Story’s Blessing. Though I think She might not win this one  cause she’s new on the Grammy Scene but still I will still tag her winner.

Category 4 - Best Gospel Album
1. The Love Album
Kim Burrell
[Shanachie Entertainment]

2. The Journey
AndraƩ Crouch
[Riverphlo Entertainment]

3. Hello Fear
Kirk Franklin
[Verity Gospel Music Group/ Fo Yo Soul Ent.]

4. Something Big
Mary Mary
[Columbia Records]

5. Angel & Chanelle Deluxe Edition
Trin-I-Tee 5:7
[Music World Gospel]

The Love Album by Kim Burrell is so artistic but too jazzy, Hello Fear by Kirk Franklin, I personally think isn’t his best effort yet, Trin-I-Tee 5:7’s Angel & Chanelle? How did they get on this list? In fact I just couldn’t concentrate on listening to the album to the end. I personally think it was a weak comeback for the girls. As much as I want Mary Mary’s Something Big to get this, I don’t think it’s going to get it not because it’s not good but excuse me, we have a veteran on the list. So the winner is
The Journey by AndraƩ Crouch

Category 5 - Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
1. Ghosts Upon The Earth
[Brash Music]

2. Leaving Eden
Brandon Heath
[Reunion Records]

3. The Great Awakening
[Essential Records]

4. What If We Were Real
[Sparrow Records]

5. Black and White
Royal Tailor
[Essential Records]

6. And If Our God Is For Us…
Chris Tomlin
[Sparrow Records / sixstepsrecords]

I have listened to all the albums on this list except the Royal Tailor’s album and I must say these are very good albums. But I sincerely think Mandisa might be getting her first Grammy this year. So the winner is
What If We Were Real by Mandisa. Great Job girl!

So there it is, fingers crossed till February when the awards going to air. In the time being, keep rocking the music and check out the guys you haven’t heard of on the list.

P.S.- What are your own predictions? Who do you think is likely to get an award? I would like to hear your point of view, drop a coment :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Press Play - World Anthem

Artist - Press Play

Album - World Anthem
Record Label: DREAM / Universal Music Christian
Release Date: Street Date: September 27, 2011

Album length: 12 tracks: 43 minutes, 33 seconds
iPod Pick - Walking On Air ( Feat. Manwell Reyes)

After two albums out that didn't seem to satisfy the creativity of music critics, the group formed from the former worship band of the impactful Los Angeles Dream Center is back with some fresh music. Let's see how this one unfolds.
The album starts off with the title track which starts off with a drum roll and intro which so reminiscent of Plumb's 'Great Planet Earth'. The anthem is a call to start a revolution. Group 1 Crew member Manwell appears on the dance floor ready 'F-I-R-E'. 'Let it Out' would make you double check if someone hasn't switched the CD for party hard Jamaican mix or Rihanna fast track. It an out of the box track for Press Play, really different from what you are used to from them.

'Just Like Lightning' sounds like something snatched from one those Hannah Montanna Shows with a little bit of the 80's ( say Cher or Madonna) thrown in. It's a dance floor disco light tune about surrendering. Walking on Air is a personal favorite. It a beautiful beaty and unique tune. You would simply love it.

Things suddenly take a slow and soulful turn on the tenth track 'Save My Life'. The worshipful 'Give it All' follows in the same vein show casing the fine vocals of the male member of the group. 'Angel Sings' which appeared on their debut 'Life is Beautiful' (but this time sounds way better and it's worth recording again) showcases also the fine talent of the male members once again.

Known not only on the christian music scene, my personal opinion: Press Play has come to stay and this album seals that fact. Bold, encouraging and worshipful, this is more consistent in tune compared to their former efforts. 'World Anthem' is sure a good place to start if you've never heard of this amazing band before. Check it out!

P.S. - Happy December and Merry Christmas (in advance) to all my readers. So happy to make it to the festive seasons. I love christmas. I recently gave some free music away on my other blog and also talked about a site where you can get lots of free music [Legally of course]. What are you waiting for? Click here and dive in. See it as a christmas gift . . . from me to you :)


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