For the last several years I’ve been reviewing various types of Christian media. This month we’re celebrating David Crowder’s newest album release. Be blessed!
3x GRAMMY-nominated, genre-defying artist Crowder dropped Milk & Cookies: A Merry Crowder Christmas on October 21st in time to embrace the full holiday season. The album includes songs that touch on the thanksgiving spirit as well as Christmas all wrapped up in a beautiful gold ribbon.
It’s an album you could put on with the whole family around and make everyone happy at some point. There’s playful songs for the young and young at heart, smooth jazz, bluegrass, pop, and orchestral rock to get everyone energized and in the Christmas spirit.
Crowder’s signature style and original genre sound never disappoints. The album mixture includes updated traditional Christmas favs and memorable originals that will sure to become new Christmas classics. Interludes are intertwined with entertaining old time radio narrations telling Christmas stories.
In unmistakeable Crowder style Milk & Cookies is entertaining, touching… playful yet inspirational. I highly recommend Milk & Cookies: A Crowder Christmas for your music library!
Check out the YouTube videos of my favorites from the album. Enjoy!
REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR TOPICS FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH. EACH TOPIC IS A 12-MONTH STUDY ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF THE MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS WE REVIEW INSPIRATIONAL CHRISTIAN MEDIA.
† THE MUSIC REVIEW BELOW WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED MAY 29, 2020. I’M REPUBLISHING THIS POST IN HONOR OF BENI JOHNSON FROM BETHEL CHURCH IN REDDING, CA. SHE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED. TO THE JOHNSON FAMILY AND BETHEL CHURCH MEMBERS YOU ARE ALL IN OUR PRAYERS.
PEACE by Bethel Music
Release Date: April 10, 2020
Album length: 12 tracks: 1 hour 9 minutes
There some artists or producers that you can count on to be consistent in their products. For me, I know if a project comes from Bethel Music it will be a quality production, with music and lyrics anointed by God. If you’re unfamiliar with Bethel Music here is a brief description from their website.
“Bethel Music is a community of worshipers pursuing the presence of God. We exist to gather, inspire, and encourage the global church toward deeper intimacy with the Father. Together, we express who God is and who we are in Him, capturing fresh expressions of worship in every season.”
Released during the COVID-19 world crisis pandemic, this album couldn’t have come at a better time. There are millions of people around the world hurting, lonely and desperate for music that will lift their spirits, inspire their souls, and heal their hearts and minds. This album is specifically created for that.
“Peace. We started this project almost a year and a half ago, not knowing the right time to release it. Over the past few weeks as we’ve watched everything unfold, we knew the time was now. We believe God will use this album to calm your mind, heart and soul during a time of uncertainty — He will silence any fear or anxiety. Peace is a person, and He is near.” ~ Bethel Music 04/10/2020
The orchestration of the music is exquisite. With the tranquil sounds of ocean waves and winds in the background, the soothing pace of the music allows you to drink the songs deeply into your heart and soul.
The artist chosen for each song selection is perfect. The restraint of the vocals simplified down to whisper singing makes PEACE truly a breath of fresh air to worship music today!
The visuals on the lyric videos themselves are incredibly peaceful with the wind blowing gently against the backdrop of a clear blue sky.
PEACE by Bethel Music ministers healing to a disquieted world. In this simple amazing project God brings supernatural healing through the science and technology of music to those seeking relief from anxiety and depression.
“The songs on this album merge worship and cutting edge techniques scientifically proven to help heal the parts of the brain damaged by emotional trauma by engaging both sides of the brain through the gentle panning of peaceful soundscapes known as bilateral music. As you listen, breathe slow and deep, invite the presence of God into your life and watch how He prophecies the truth over you and gives you His perspective.” ~ Bethel Music Heart of the Album Video Description
As a contemplative person I’m drawn to the quiet music that PEACE presents. It’s simple, life-filled, uplifting, inspirational, relaxing, encouraging, healing and above all peaceful. Most of the songs are familiar worship songs that have been reworked with a softer sound. There are also a few new songs that you will want to hear again and again.
A new favorite for me. I highly recommend PEACE by Bethel Music!
REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR. EACH OF THE FOUR POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I REVIEW INSPIRATIONAL MEDIA.
TODAY WE’RE LOOKING AT AN AMAZING SERIES OF BOOKS.
Dennis Prager has spent most of his adult life teaching the Torah. I can think of no one more qualified to write a line by line commentary on the Torah. One of the things I most enjoy about Dennis Prager is his straightforward way of teaching.
The format Dennis uses is excellent. He not only goes line by line in the Scripture explaining the verses. But also he offers insightful essays that delve deeper into various topics throughout the books. Here are a few samples of some intriguing essay titles:
The Belief People Are Basically Good Is Foolish and Dangerous
Faith Demands Sacrifice
Can We Expect God To Protect Us
The Moral Significance of Fearing God
Do All Believers In One God Believe in the Same God?
We Are Not Commanded To Love Our Parents
I’ve been using The Rational Bible:Genesis and Exodus for the last several months as references for some of my columns and I’ve learned so much. I’m looking forward to getting the recently released The Rational Passover Haggadah and The Rational Bible: Deuteronomy which is coming in October 2022. I encourage you buy and read these valuable commentaries. Everything Dennis Prager is excellent. He never disappoints.
Take some time to watch this great episode of The Book Club with Michael Knowles discussing Dennis Prager’s The Rational Bible: Exodus. Enjoy!
REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR. EACH OF THE FOUR POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I REVIEW TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MEDIA.
TODAY WE’RE LOOKING AT A WONDERFUL NEW FILM.
THE MOST RELUCTANT CONVERT: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis
In this poignant autobiographical docudrama, Max McLean beautifully portrays C.S.Lewis narrating highlights of his distinguished life. The Most Reluctant Convert excellently relives the childhood, scholarly education and thought-provoking spiritual birth of one of the 20th Century’s well-known Christian apologists.
The Most Reluctant Convert begins in an unusual fashion with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie. At first I was taken back by this being at the beginning. But after the film ended it made perfect sense.
In a one-on-one conversation with the audience, C.S. Lewis goes down memory lane sharing his remarkable life story. He recounts many life-changing events along with their captivating backstories.
The production of The Most Reluctant Convert stands out with its exquisite cinematography and spectacular period settings. Brilliantly filmed where C. S. Lewis grew up, lived, taught and worshipped makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time with this incredible author/teacher/writer.
Those familiar with C. S. Lewis’ writings will no doubt recognize lines taken from his many books. After watching The Most Reluctant Convert I’m greatly inspired to read more of his work. I highly recommend The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis!
REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR STUDY AND CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR. EACH OF THE FOUR POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I REVIEW TOUCHING, INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC, film and media.
In every month with five Fridays in 2021 I’ve been reviewing Christian music that has inspired and touched me. This third post in the Review Series is going to look at music from a little different angle. Instead of reviewing an album, I’m reviewing the recently released music documentary film: The Jesus Music.
The Jesus Music
PG-13 | 2021 | 109 Minutes
This first-of-its-kind documentary by brothers Andrew and Jon Erwin, the filmmakers behind I Can Only Imagine, Woodlawn and I Still Believe, chronicles how young hippie singers from the 1960’s and 1970’s had life-changing encounters with Jesus and became the foundation for what is known today as Contemporary Christian Music (CCM).
With the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic having locked down all the Christian artists at the same time, the Erwins had the perfect opportunity to have extended interviews with not only the industry’s top artists and bands, but the producers, managers and publishers of Christian magazines.
The filmmakers are careful to not put any one artist or group on a pedestal as some music documentaries are prone to do. Rather, they took a well-balanced look at painful issues in CCM industry. The mainstream Christian church in the 1970’s wasn’t so quick to embrace this new type of music. Ministers were harsh critics of the new music thought to be from the devil.
Without stepping on toes, the movie gently addresses how past racial bias in America and in the church still continues even in the CCM industry today. The documentary film also carefully discusses the controversial issues the artists have dealt with being in the media and limelight: infidelity, divorce, pornography and substance abuse… among others. Revealing that just because they are Christians artists doesn’t prevent them from struggling with the same demons the world does. As Bill Gaither beautifully stated:
“These are human beings who have been gifted in a special kind of way, yet they’re trying to work through these earthly bodies, and sometimes they make mistakes.”
Over the last 50+ years CCM, has grown into a multimillion-dollar industry and has changed the landscape and culture of Christian music forever. The market segments of music that have spawned from this movement is nothing short of amazing. Not only the diversity of music genres within CCM: rock, rap, metal, gospel, blue grass, pop, and worship just to name a few. There’s the incredible explosion of recording, radio, video, concerts, merchandise, and now film!
The Jesus Music is a wonderful anthology that documents the beautiful story of Christian music that has influenced the better part of my life. While the primary audience is people who are familiar with Christian music The Jesus Music is a great introduction to Contemporary Christian Music to a completely new audience.
I really enjoyed seeing the old video footage from bands I hadn’t heard of before. The interviews were touching and the music and concert clips were well chosen. The Jesus Music is definitely worth going to the theater for and I highly recommend checking it out when it releases to streaming formats.
REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR STUDY AND CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE FOUR POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC.
In every month with five Fridays I’m reviewing Christian music that has inspired and touched me. Today’s post is the second Music Review for 2021.
The Darker The Night / The Brighter The Morning by Cody Carnes
This album is very important to me! God used it to bring me through an extremely challenging season of my life. Instead of reviewing the entire album as a whole, I’m going to review each song of the album individually and share my favorite lyrics from that song. I have each music video with its review. At the end of the post is the complete YouTube album playlist. I encourage you to take the time to not only listen to each song, but to then set aside time to listen to the entire album in one sitting. I promise, you won’t be sorry!
1. RESURRECTION BLOOD
Powerful testimony song! Reminiscent of the old-time gospel spirituals.
“All my chains went falling when He saved my soul / All my fears went running from the Holy Ghost / Hallelujah all my sins are white as snow / Now my freedom’s anchored in that crimson flow.”
2. WHAT FREEDOM FEELS LIKE
Fresh lyrics expressive of new found life in Christ. It’s tough to choose only a few lyrics from this song. They are all beautiful.
“I was lost and Your love came to find me. I was blind til You showed me my victory. I was bound and You set me free. Now I’m alive!”
3. ‘TIL THE END OF TIME
Featuring Kari Jobe (Cody’s wife) this song could easily be a crossover couple love song, except at the end where they speak directly about God. Reminiscent of Song of Solomon in the Old Testament. Soul-stirring music and poignant lyrics that combines original poetry and Scripture. These two beautiful people love each other and their God and it shows in this exquisite video! They’re not only singing to each other but to God about their love for eternity. Amazing song. One of my favorites for sure.
“Your waves and Your breakers / Wash over me / Deep calls to deep / In the mystery”
4. THE CROSS HAS THE FINAL WORD
The world we live in is dark and evil may appear to be prevailing. Praise God! This song reminds us that the Cross of Christ has the final word.
“Sorrow may come in the darkest night…Evil may put up its strongest fight… The Savior has come with the morning light / The cross has the final word”
5. FULL OF FAITH
An awesome confession song to overcome any struggle in your life!
“Your word is a sword from my mouth / I’m telling fear it has to go / Your promise is my solid ground / I’m standing strong on anchored hope / This mountain that is rising up in front of me / Will fall into the sea / The God who conquered death for all eternity / Is now my victory”
6. HOLD IT ALL
While not the actual album title song, the title is taken from lyrics in this song. Powerful battle march song! Love the piano.
“You hold it all / The darker the night, the brighter the morning / You’re in control / The graver the fight, the greater Your glory / What can stand against our God / From beginning to the end, / You won’t be shaken Jesus, / You’re my strength and song / My life is in Your hands, You won’t be shaken”
Another favorite featuring Kari Jobe… sweet yet mystical love song. My only complaint: I’d like to see them perform this on a video.
“I want to go where I’ve never been / I want to see Your mysteries before my eyes / I want to know the secrets that You know / I want to hear the melodies of Heaven / I’m after the rooms of Your heart / I’m after the rooms of Your heart / I’m after the rooms of Your heart / That are waiting to be found You’re waiting to be found”
8. THROUGH AND THROUGH
Stunning palpable lyrics expressing the presence of God.
“I hear the Heavens here in Your presence / Spirit move through & through / All of the walls down, freedom is here now / Spirit move through & through / Just a moment here in Your love / I wouldn’t trade it for the world / Wouldn’t trade it for the world”
9. WAIT HERE
The perfect song for times of battle fatigue.
“Faithful / Always Faithful / I will look for victory in nothing else but You / I will find my hope and strength in nothing else but You / I will look for victory in nothing else but You / I will put expectancy in nothing else but You”
A fresh rendition of Psalm 23. The bridge portion! Perfectly Powerful! Another favorite! Can’t get this one loud enough.
“Where You lead me / I will follow I don’t have to be afraid / For You are with me clothed in victory / Bringing honor to Your name / If I’m found in darkest valleys / You’ll be there to set a feast /At a table filled with laughter / Toasting to Your victory”
11. BREAD AND WINE
I can see using this lovely song at a communion during a Resurrection Sunrise Celebration!
“You’re the bread & wine / The single source of life / Only You satisfy / My everything / The well that won’t run dry / The ever-rising tide / One drop and I’m revived / My everything / All I need, all I need / All I need is You”
12. NOTHING MORE TO SAY
A touching personal song sharing the power of Jesus name to change a life.
“Strength for all the weak / Love for all the least / Hope that’s never failing / Grace for everyone / There’s power in the blood / Freedom for the captives / Jesus, Jesus / There’s nothing more to say / Jesus, Jesus / I’ll never be the same / Jesus, Jesus”
The Darker the Night/The Brighter the Morning by Cody Carnes is a fresh sound with beautifully expressive and poetic lyrics reminiscent of the book of Psalms or Song of Solomon. It also has great soul-filled gospel that rocks the beats and bass sounds. Powerful testimony songs and sweet worship songs which are true love songs to God like none other. All the music videos are original and very creative to go along with this amazingly fresh creative sound! Thanks Cody Carnes!
Below is the full YouTube album playlist of The Darker the Night/The Brighter the Morning by Cody Carnes. I pray you will set aside some time and listen to the full album from start to finish. Allow this powerful music to touch your soul. Be blessed…