Monday, August 27, 2012

Chris August, The Upside of Down

I have a new LOVE in the music world! Chris August has just released his new album "The Upside of Down" and let me tell you it is fantastic!!!! I know that you all think that I write kind reviews about everything no matter what, but my enthusiasm is not feigned in the least over this album. See what you may not know about me is that I have quite a varied palate when it comes to music. I like just about anything and everything that is indeed good music. And I also think I am a pretty good judge of good music. (if u agree with the TV judges :0) ) Anyway, all that said, I love this new album. Every song has a slightly different sound so you don't feel like you are listening to the same three songs over and over again. They range from soulful to pop-py and some gospel thrown in for good measure. One or two sound similar to the Chris August hit "Starry Night."
My very favorite, and the one I was singing as I sat down to write, is "I Believe."  The lyrics go like this:
I don't need a rainbow to know who made the rain
Don't need the waters parted to know who made the way
And I don't need a healing to know who is the cure
Of this I'm sure

I believe that there is something more than I can see
I believe that there is someone holding onto me
Sometimes I won't feel it, but that don't change a thing
'Cause it's by faith that I believe

This song and others on this album so completely describe where I am currently or have been recently in my walk with Jesus. And this is definitely an album about Jesus. Some "Christian" music  never even says His name, but Chris is "Unashamed of You" Jesus.

Now in his own words, here is Chris telling about the inspiration and writing of this project.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Greater by Steven Furtick

GreaterI was super excited to hear that Steven Furtick was about to release a new book. {I am addicted to the Elevation podcast!!} So with high expectations, I read this most recent release, Greater. I must say, I was not disappointed!!! It was inspiring, convicting, fun, deep, and full of Jesus much like most of the content that Pastor Steven puts out.

The premise of the message is to seek great-er lives. Not to be confused with seeking greatness, or settling for good enough. Greater is "The life-altering understanding that God is ready to accomplish a greatness in your life that is entirely out of human reach. It's beyond anything you see in yourself on your best day, but exactly what God has seen in you all along." Pastor Steven preaches tells the stories of the events in the life of Elisha, the prophet of God, to explain how to pursue this "Greater" vision of our life. Through Elisha's ups and downs Pastor Steven chronicles how that we too can see God do great things all around and through us.

As I said, I was greatly inspired and convicted by this book. I think every person who claims Christ publicly should read it and be challenged to live above the line of mediocrity, but not in a worldly get all the money and fame you can way. More like a get all the Jesus and Spirit you can! I believe more people would be won to Christ if more of His followers lived "Greater" lives.

Here's a sneak peek at the book:

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mercy Me "The Hurt & The Healer"

Several months ago, I was able to see Mercy Me at the EWomen event in Birmingham, AL. I can't put into words how fabulous they were that night. They introduced several of the songs from their new project "The Hurt & The Healer" that night. Usually, I hate when a band plays new music that I don't already know in concert. This was definitely an exception to that rule for me. These songs are so personal and from the heart that they instantly hit the mark somewhere deep inside me.

I was thrilled to return home to an e-mail from my friends at The Media Collective offering me the opportunity to hear the new album "The Hurt & The Healer" in its entirety. Every song on this album is a hit! The heartfelt lyrics really spoke to me and echo some of the same thoughts and questions I have faced. Musically this album is a little different than some of their earlier projects and the songs vary greatly so surely there is at least one you would enjoy!

Now, Mercy Me has released a short film, The Making of "The Hurt & The Healer,"  which I also had the opportunity to review. It is awesome! There are interviews from the band members and producers which not only explain the process of making the album, but explain the heart behind many of the songs. I love to hear about how a songs lyrics were put together and what the artist was going through when they wrote a song. For instance "The Hurt & The Healer" was written about the passing of Bart Millard's cousin and the heartache that followed. I would definitely recommend both the album and the video!!! Go to right now to get both!