Sunday, February 27, 2011

Book Review

by John Trent
c1998 WaterBrook Press

reviewed by Diane Busch

LifeMapping is a great book for people who may be at a transition in their life or who are ready to make a difference for their future. LifeMapping will help you discover how things in your past affect your actions now and quite possibly your future. John Trent lays out an eight-part storyboard template for you to work through for your own life. Many times you need to deal with hurts and hang-ups in the past, before being able to plan for a positive future. This is an interactive book, as you cannot just read it, but must take time to reflect, brain storm, and write down your remembrances and thoughts. We found this book to be a very effective tool for seeing your whole life as a story, and having an affect on the ending yet to be written.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Releases

What I Learned from a Simple Blessing
Michael W. Smith
Zondervan, February 2011
Something wonderful and life-changing has been happening at Michael W. Smith's concerts. Recently he began closing the evening with a simple prayer of blessing woven from Scripture. The response has been overwhelming. The emails and letters of testimony are like nothing he has ever experienced in his 25 years of ministry. Far from being a 'magical' formula for extracting wealth and possessions from God, he has discovered that God's blessings are measured more by the flourishing of character in adversity than by the flourishing of stuff. The amazing result of God's true blessing is overflowing joy and peace. Unfortunately, many are robbed of the promise of blessing because they seek to be blessed more than to bless others. This beautiful work, written with writer Thomas Williams, will inspire readers to examine their hearts and learn to experience God's blessing as they seek to bless others, thus discovering the secret to drawing near to the heart of God.

The Bondage Breaker: the Next Step
Neil Anderson
Harvest House Publishers, February 2011
Hundreds of thousands of Christians have found spiritual freedom as they’ve grasped the Bible’s truth about who they are—with the help of the million-selling Bondage Breaker® by Dr. Neil Anderson. In The Bondage Breaker®—the Next Step, Anderson offers more help to those suffering from destructive behaviors and spiritual entanglements—and an expanded vision for helping others realize their freedom in Christ. Life-transforming guidance includes

* vivid personal accounts that show in detail how individual believers have found freedom from childhood abuse, compulsive behaviors, eating disorders, depression, tormenting guilt, sexual abuse…and how readers can too
* encouragement and direction for believers on how to deepen their relationship with God their Father
* proven ways readers’ churches can newly enjoy God’s life and freedom, with specific advice on Spanish-speaking and African-American contexts

Christians will see how they can experience new growth and significance in The Bondage Breaker®—the Next Step.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New Releases

Crazy Love CD
Hawk Nelson
Bec Recordings, February 2011
Hawk Nelson is releasing their 5th studio album - "Crazy Love" featuring the singles "Crazy Love," "We Can Change the World," "My Next Breath" and more. The men of Hawk Nelson have yet again taken things up a notch with a hint of the past. These songs will touch you to the core with their powerful lyrics, but also take you to the edge musically. The Light Sides features 11 of Hawk Nelson's biggest hits performed acoustically. "California" "Everything You Ever Wanted," "Bring `Em Out" and many more included in the 2 Disc Set!

Love Without Measure CD
Parachute Band
Integrity Music, February 2011
Proudly carrying the torch for the next generation of worshippers, the New Zealand collective Parachute Band returns to express Love Without Measure. This twelve song set of original songs showcases the rock-solid faith and boundless energy of Parachute Band's latest incarnation, and features a guest appearance from Delirious? founder and frontman Martin Smith.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New Releases

Thirsting for God
Gary Thomas
Harvest House Publishers, January 2011
Gary Thomas, a popular speaker and the bestselling author of Sacred Pathways, invites readers to reinvigorate their faith journey as he sheds light on refreshing perspectives about prayer, hope, purpose, and the thirst for God and His love.With insight from Gary’s personal journey, readers delve into classic Christian writings from John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Thomas à Kempis, and others, and emerge with practical and unexpected ways to

* know God more intimately and delight in Him
* embark on a path of spiritual training that lasts a lifetime
* experience the joy of a life surrendered to Christ
* discover kindred spirits in the great Christian thinkers and seekers
* move toward spiritual growth and understanding

Thirsting for God offers companionship and the mentorship of great words, minds, and hearts as readers encounter a fulfilling, transforming relationship with God.

VeggieTales Happy Together! DVD
Big Idea Productions, January 2011
Bob, Larry, and their VeggieTales pals are having fun being their wild, wacky selves---and invite you to join them! Sheerluck Holmes takes you on a mysterious adventure. The Grapes of Wrath learn a valuable lesson about bullying. And Queen Esther rescues her cousins and friends. Silly songs include "Pants," "Dance of the Cucumber," and "Larry Sings the Blues." Closed captions. Approx. 90 minutes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

New Releases

Jesus in the Present Tense
Warren Wiersbe
David C Cook, December 2010
In Jesus in the Present Tense, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe explores the “I AM” statements of God—from His burning bush conversation with Moses, to His powerful reassurances to the Israelites, to Jesus’s startling claim to be the Light of the World. Many Christians find themselves mired in past regrets or future fears, but the name of God itself reminds readers that God wants them to live in the present. The more readers understand and apply God’s I AM statements from the Old and New Testaments, the more they will realize God’s peace and joy. Then they will be free to live, serve, and know God more richly in the present tense—which is just where He wants them to be.

Princess Grace and the Lost Little Kitten (The Princess Parables)
Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson
Zonderkidz, January 2011
'Search everywhere for the lost kitten. Bring her back safely to the castle.' In Princess Grace and the Little Lost Kitten, Princess Grace promised her father she would care for the kittens she found. But Poppy, the curious one, has run away. Princess Grace must find him, even if it means searching the entire kingdom . . . even braving the Black Woods. Along the way, she remembers a parable Jesus told about God's great love for us and how he too searches for each one who is lost.

Princess Joy's Birthday Blessing (The Princess Parables)
Jeanna Young and Jacqueline Johnson
Zonderkidz, January 2011
'No one can come to the surprise party, Daddy. What will we do?' Princess Joy can't wait for her birthday. There will be treats, games, and an enormous cake with delicious icing! But when the other princes and princesses can't come and Princess Joy finds out, she comes up with a surprising plan to fill her day with special guests and unexpected gifts. Will it work? Her idea, shared in Princess Joy's Birthday Blessing, comes from a parable Jesus told about a party a lot like hers.

See You CD
Josh Wilson
Sparrow Records, January 2011
Josh Wilson returns with his highly anticipated new studio album, See You. Working with acclaimed producer Matt Bronlewee, See You features songs that are sure to inspire and challenge fellow believers. Much like Josh's previous hit singles "Savior, Please" and "Before The Morning," See You delivers songs like "I Refuse" and "Fall Apart" that are refreshingly honest and emotional while also lyrically and spiritually profound. Playing most of the instruments on the album himself, Josh also found ways to highlight what so many fans have come to love about him, his God-given talent as a one of a kind musician. Whether it be through an instrumental guitar loop or inviting family and friends to play/record their favorite kitchen utensil, Josh found ways to deliver a unique and commercial sound on See You that make this album one to watch. His first single from the album, "I Refuse" is already connecting with radio listeners around the U.S. The song was inspired by a quote that touched Josh's heart and convicted him after a devastating flood hit Nashville, TN earlier this year - the quote simple says "I can't do everything but I Refuse to do nothing". Josh's prayer for the song is that as Christians we will refuse to do nothing and be Christ's hands and feet to the world.

Wow Gospel 2011
Various Artists
EMI, February 2011
2011 two CD collection. Filled with songs that lived at the top of the charts at Gospel radio, this double disc set features inspiring tracks from the greatest in Gospel music. Features songs from Fred Hammond, Marvin Sapp, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Smokie Norful and many others.

The Covering
Big3 Records, February 2011
Stryper, the world s most celebrated multi-platinum Christian metal band, is back with an evocative take on classic rock songs. After 25 years, The Covering marks Stryper s journey throughout rock history by paying homage to their favorite rock songs with the brilliant style that only Stryper could accomplish. Stryper's 'The Covering' album features their distinct brand of Christian rock with a twist that never goes out of style. The extraordinary vocals from front man Michael Sweet are not only unsurpassed, but aid in the energy and vibrant flow of the melodical dueling guitars and hard-hitting drums. 'The Covering' features songs that have inspired the sound and band, Stryper, as the four original members united to record this cover album. Stand out tracks include the heart-felt tribute to Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath's 'Heaven and Hell', and Iron Maiden's popular 'The Trooper'. Also included is the guitar driven new original song from Stryper, 'God'.

God Cares for You (Biblical Wisdom for Kids)
Chuck Swindoll
Tyndale, February 2011
Using colorful animation, fun characters, and great lessons, Paws & Tales is an exciting tool for helping build godly character into kids. Based on the “Paws & Tales” nationally broadcast radio program presented by Chuck Swindoll’s Insight for Living, the Paws & Tales videos communicate biblical truth and show kids how they can apply it to real life. Kids will be captivated by the adventure, caught up in the laughter, and carried away in the fun . . . and the whole time they'll be on their way to understanding solid Bible theology. This first DVD in the series, based on Psalm 23:1 and Proverbs 10:25, teaches kids that God cares for them. The DVD features two full-length animated episodes, music videos, an e-book, activities, and parent resources. Chuck Swindoll comments to parents: “Laying a good spiritual foundation in your children is essential . . . and even better when it’s reinforced early and often. Paws & Tales is a great tool for helping you build godly character into your kids.”

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Releases

Like Dandelion Dust DVD
20th Century Fox, January 2011
Academy Award® Winner "Mira Sorvino is amazing” and Golden Globe® nominee “Barry Pepper is stunning” (Film Threat) in this emotionally gripping drama. Sorvino and Pepper star as Wendy and Rip Porter, a working-class couple fighting to regain custody of Joey--the young son Wendy gave up for adoption when Rip went to prison seven years earlier. But Joey’s adoptive parents will stop at nothing to ensure that the small boy stays in the only home he’s ever known. From a screenplay by Academy Award Nominee Stephen J. Rivele and Michael Lachance, and based on the novel by New York Times best-selling author Karen Kingsbury, Like Dandelion Dust is a “powerful story” with “a powerful cast...don’t miss it.” (ABC-TV)

Made to Crave
Lysa Terkeurst
Zondervan, January 2011
Made to Crave is the missing link between a woman's desire to be healthy and the spiritual empowerment necessary to make that happen. The reality is we were made to crave. Craving isn't a bad thing. But we must realize God created us to crave more of him. Many of us have misplaced that craving by overindulging in physical pleasures instead of lasting spiritual satisfaction. If you are struggling with unhealthy eating habits, you can break the 'I'll start again Monday' cycle, and start feeling good about yourself today. Learn to stop beating yourself up over the numbers on the scale. Discover that your weight loss struggle isn't a curse but rather a blessing in the making, and replace justifications that lead to diet failure with empowering go-to scripts that lead to victory. You can reach your healthy weight goal -- and grow closer to God in the process. This is not a how-to book. This is not the latest and greatest dieting plan. This book is the necessary companion for you to use alongside whatever healthy lifestyle plan you choose. This is a book and Bible study to help you find the 'want to' in making healthy lifestyle choices.

Martin Smith
January 2011
Martin Smith—one of the leading voices in the modern worship movement—shares his story, his insight, and his challenge to change the world. For seventeen years, Smith held the microphone for Delirious?—the mega-selling, Dove Award-winning, Grammy-nominated band that helped bring the modern worship movement into existence. Here Martin reflects on everything from the craft of leading worship to the challenges of parenthood to how to find a place of compassion within a culture of consumerism. Along the way, he challenges readers: Are you going to be spectators—or agents of change? Are you going to read history—or make it happen? Are you just going to sing the songs—or will you live them out? Always personal and often surprising, Smith’s story will spur readers to embrace the action God wants them to take.

Until We Have Faces CD
Provident-Integrity, January 2011
Essential Records' two time GRAMMY-nominated hard rock outfit RED packs a potent sonic punch on its third project, Until We Have Faces, a record that leaps out of the speakers with a ferocity and complexity reflecting the band's growth and intensity. From the opening seconds of "Feed The Machine" through the final, contemplative moments of "Hymn For The Missing," the four-man unit of vocalist Michael Barnes, guitarist Anthony Armstrong, bassist Randy Armstrong and drummer Joe Rickard shows both maturity and abandon can coexist within the various dimensions of rock RED inhabits. The new album's overarching theme is a search for true identity, inspired by a number of sources, including author C.S. Lewis' book of similar title, Till We Have Faces. The band itself is working through its own new identity - as a four-piece with the addition of drummer Rickard. Until We Have Faces takes listeners down the path of recognizing the hollowness of life until finding their true identity (revealed on "Faceless"), the idea of creative destruction unveiled in the midst of new life (found on "Let It Burn"), and simultaneously presenting the positive energy found even "in a world so cold" (explored on the infectious, melodic ballad "Not Alone"). Paired again with award-winning producer Rob Graves, Until We Have Faces features RED in its most musically intense place to date - "a combination of our first two records, but on steroids," Michael Barnes notes - daring both RED and its fans to catapult into new rock territories. RED will push those boundaries, bringing its creative energy and high-octane live presence to next year's Winter Jam tour, spanning nearly four dozen dates from January 7, 2011 in Chattanooga, Tenn. to the tour wrap-up April 3 in Peoria, Ill. The band's first single, "Faceless" goes for adds at CHR and Christian Rock formats on Dec. 31, continuing RED's powerful presence at radio, which has featured nine consecutive singles vaulting to No. 1 on the Christian Rock chart.

VeggieTales Growing Generous Kids!
Big Idea Productions, January 2011
Growing Generous Kids! has two great shows on being generous! King George and the Ducky...A self-serving king learns a valuable lesson - when we are selfish, we hurt the people around us! "For whether you're a king or kid, God wants us all to think of others first! Lyle the Kindly Viking...Junior Asparagus stars as Lyle the Kindly Viking as our Veggie friends learn that "sharing gets us more of what we really want...friends!"

VeggieTales Growing Patient Kids!
Big Idea Productions, January 2011
Growing Patient Kids! has two great shows about Patience! Abe & The Amazing Promise... In this Veggie re-telling of the biblical story of Abraham, kids will learn that while being patient is never easy, the reward is always worth the wait! Sumo Of The Opera... In this zany tale of Perseverance, Larry (as the Italian Scallion) learns that when you finish what you start, you always come out a winner.

VeggieTales Growing Courageous Kids!
Big Idea Productions, January 2011
Growing Courageous Kids! has two great shows about courage! The Ballad Of Little Joe ... Join Bob & Larry in this Wild West yarn that teaches us to keep the faith when facing hardship because in the end, God can work all things out for good! Bully Trouble ... Junior Asparagus finds out where courage comes from when he is up against the meanest bully in the schoolyard, reminding us that God can give us courage to face our biggest fears.