Sight & Sound

by | Jan 31, 2004 | Charisma Archive


BOOKS


Fatal Distractions

By Joyce Rodgers, Charisma House,

224 pages, paperback, $13.99.


Church of God in Christ evangelist Joyce Rodgers is a minister who seeks to prevent Satan from using one of his most lethal weapons, distractions, to poison our hearts. In Fatal Distractions she discusses the attitudes that distract us and bring about spiritual death, specifically “the death of our God-ordained purpose in this life.”


Rodgers’ seven deadly sins are envy, loneliness, anger, bitterness, hurt, despair and rejection. They build until we cap them with the most insidious distraction of all: ourselves.


Fortunately, she reveals how to stop Satan dead in his tracks: by practically applying the Bible and prayer to our lives. She emphasizes, much like Bible teacher Joyce Meyer, whom she quotes, how we can block internal distractions with godly attractions–such as replacing fear with unrestrained praise.


Having a heart for women, Rodgers addresses her primary audience like an older sister. She tempers a deadly serious message with humor and
compassion.


Sometimes the author goes for the jugular. For example, she writes, “Women in particular are susceptible to the subtle yet insidious distractions that ‘dress themselves up’ to be something beautiful, yet inside are rotten to the core.” Some women might not appreciate the stereotyping here, since men are certainly vulnerable to the same temptations.


Nonetheless, Rodgers’ powerful statements cut through to our hearts. She directs our passion toward God and away from fatal distractions. Rodgers’ audience appeal, which is evident by her many appearances on TBN, Daystar and radio, is strong. Her message brings life to defeat the power of Satan’s deadly arsenal.

Pamela Robinson


Optimize Your Marriage: Making an Eternal Impact on Family and Friends
By Phil and Susy Downer with Ken Walker,
Christian Publications, softcover,
264 pages, $13.99.


Although this is a book about marriage, its primary focus is on Christian discipleship and training and how they affect not only the family but also all of life. This is not surprising, seeing that authors Phil and Susy Downer are the founders of Discipleship Network of America (DNA) and conduct conferences on aspects of Christian living.


Clearly, Optimizing Your Marriage was born out of the authors’ personal experience and ministry.


On the brink of divorce, this couple discovered that God’s grace could mend their broken relationship. Now they share the worst and the best of times, including the practical tactics they have learned to circumvent their personal weaknesses and turn them to strengths.


There is a strong call to mentorship here–to pass along this wealth of experience and understanding to others. The content is solid, basic principles that may be review for some readers and fresh insight for those new to the faith.
Deborah Delk


MUSIC


Illuminate

By David Crowder Band, Sixstepsrecords.


Worship leader David Crowder follows up his impressive 2002 debut with another groundbreaking modern-worship album. Produced by Charlie Peacock, Illuminate explores the theme of light, capturing God’s creativity on “Stars,” and emphasizing our earnest desire to be light and be filled with the light of truth on standouts such as the alternative arrangement of the hymn “Heaven Came Down” and “How Great.”


It’s difficult to find a weak spot on this well-crafted modern-worship feast. From the acoustic opening interlude “Sparks Fly” to the 1960s-turned-1980s electronic-flavored fun of “Revolutionary Love” and the catchy rocker “No One Like You,” Illuminate lights up the crowded modern-worship category.


As an added bonus, Crowder partnered with the makers of Propellerhead software to allow him to put a copy of the music program on the disc. Listeners can see and mix the tracks to their own taste, proving that Crowder remains a step ahead of the rest.

Natalie Nichols Gillespie


The Heavens Are Telling
By Karen Clark Sheard, Elektra Records.


Karen Clark Sheard, considered one of gospel’s premier vocalists, recently released her third solo project, The Heavens Are Telling. A member of the trend-setting group The Clark Sisters and daughter of the late gospel icon Mattie Moss Clark, Sheard showcases her strength as a live vocalist with the first half of the CD consisting of tracks recorded at her home church in Detroit.


Strong live cuts include a moving remake of Andraé Crouch’s “We Are Not Ashamed” with guest artists Mary Mary and the worshipful tune “God Is Here,” penned by Israel Houghton (of Israel & New Breed) and CCM artist Martha Munizzi. Other favorites include the calypso-influenced “Glorious (Make the Praise)” and the gospel rendition of R&B artist Jill Scott’s “He Loves Me.”


The second half of the CD includes five studio cuts, all produced and written by Sheard’s cousin J. Moss and Paul “PDA” Allen. Other urban-
flavored tracks include the inspiring “Go Ahead” featuring mainstream artist Missy Elliott and the funky “Praise Up.” “I Owe,” with special guest Ramiyah, draws the listener in with its infectious melody and gratitude-laden lyrics.


Sheard has sealed her place as one of gospel’s finest with this project.
René Williams


Songs 4 Worship: The U.K. Collection
By various artists, Integrity Music.


Songs 4 Worship: The U.K. Collection introduces or reintroduces listeners to modern praise songs made popular or recently emerging from the British Isles and Australia.


Tim Hughes performs his international hit “Here I Am to Worship” and Delirious rouses listeners with “Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble?” Brian


Doerksen adds “Come Now Is the Time to Worship,” and Robin Mark leads worshipers with an Irish touch on “Forever.” Paul Balcohe closes disc one with the popular song “Open the Eyes of My Heart.”


Darlene Zschech is featured on “The Power of Your Love,” and Irish worship leader Eoghan Heaslip closes the two-disc collection with “O Come Let Us Adore Him.”
Natalie Nichols Gillespie


The Art of Praise
By various artists, Integrity Gospel.


This collection allows a variety of talented worship leaders in gospel-laden churches to show off their best side and work their background choirs into a frenzy of praise.


Desmond Pringle shines on the opener, “You Are Good.” Other standouts include the jazz-infused “Above All” by the Take Six-like harmony group J-4 Twenty3, the smooth silky vocals by Daryl Coley on “Desperate Desire” and the give-and-take by Joe Pace & The Colorado Mass Choir (featuring Alicia Williams and Maurice Carter) on “I Will Bless the Lord at All Times.”


The Art of Praise easily brings down the walls between “gospel” music and “modern worship,” allowing the body of Christ to benefit from both musical styles.
Natalie Nichols Gillespie


Professional Rapper
By John Reuben, Gotee Records.


John Reuben, known for sharp wit and occasional musical quirkiness, gets more serious with his third Gotee Records release, Professional Rapper. Sure, quirky John Reu makes his mark. But a probing Reuben teams with Adrienne Liesching (The Benjamin Gate) for the haunting confessional of “I Haven’t Been Myself,” which states: “I’m not all right / I haven’t been myself lately / I’m not OK with the way I’ve let my thoughts overtake me.”


With that same transparency, Reuben narrates his insecurities on the romantic “5 Years to Write.” Reuben deserves credit for stepping outside his comfort zone, providing inspiration and comfort to listeners who identify with struggles like his. His passion and sincerity make Professional Rapper one of his best and a milestone for Christian hip-hop.
DeWayne Hamby


MUSIC SPOTLIGHT


Stacie Orrico Is Staying True


With her song “More to Life” being the No. 3 dance single in the United States and following right on the heels of her wildly popular hit “Stuck,” Stacie Orrico is on her way to reaching her goal.


Orrico, 17, sings edgy R&B, has toured with Destiny’s Child, appears repeatedly on MTV’s TRL, and is popular in Europe, Australia and Japan. Yet this pop star is a Christian who says she wants to “change some people’s lives along the way.”


“I want to set a new standard in the mainstream market and show up-and-coming artists that you can be a respectable woman, stay true to the things you believe in, and you don’t have to take all your clothes off to be successful,” she says.


Her music is making a difference. “Stuck” made one young woman reconsider a relationship she was in. Orrico explains: “I said in a show that relationships are supposed to add to your life and bring you joy, and that person should be teaching you things. … You should be growing together. This girl had never heard anyone say that relationships were actually meant to be beneficial to your life.”


Orrico’s lyrics are about growing up, guys and family. “I’m writing music that doesn’t say Jesus, doesn’t quote a Bible verse, but it’s about things that every girl–I don’t care if you’re a Christian or a Buddhist or an atheist–you’re going to go through this. But it’s music they can groove to as well.”
Marsha Gallardo

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Why There is Power in Your Song

Why There is Power in Your Song

Do you have a great voice? If so, then sing! Do you have a horrible voice? If so, then sing! There is power in the song. God gave you your vocal cords, voice and ability to sing. There has never been a culture in which music was not part of society. We see music...

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

How Would an Encounter in Heaven Transform Your Life?

Have you ever wondered what heaven was like? What does a person see and experience when they are in heaven? Is the arrival in immediate when a believer dies? These are great questions and ones that Rabbi Felix Halpern can answer. A mix-up in medicine brought about a...

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Prophet: Learning to Listen With Discernment

Learning to listen with discernment means that you begin to recognize the voice of God so well that other voices sound unfamiliar. In John 10:5a, Jesus told his followers, "Yet they will never follow a stranger." This statement needs to become a reality in your life....

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

5 Stages of Building a Successful Team

The definition and purpose of leadership are directly tied to organizational models and the five stages of building an organizational model. Let’s talk about those five stages. What we say here may sound somewhat like what you may have heard before about building a...

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

Mario Murillo Compares America Now to Israel on Mount Carmel

America stands in a crucial moment, much like the moment where Elijah made Israel choose between Baal and Jehovah. Elijah said to the people, "How long do you halt between two opinions? If Baal is God..." That's according to Evangelist Mario Murillo, whose ministry...

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: Can I Ask God for Confirmation?

There are many incidents of God giving people a sign throughout the Bible. Although I believe God still does this, I also believe that we must be careful. Asking for a sign can be misleading if other factors are not taken into consideration. In Genesis, we find an...

RECENT ARTICLES

Man Who Spent 23 Minutes in Hell: Are You Ready To Meet Jesus?

The last words Jesus spoke to me in my 23 Minutes In Hell vision were, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” Then He repeated Himself and said again, “Tell them I am coming very, very soon.” The...
Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Prophecy: The Breach in Our Nation Will Be Repaired

Praise be to Almighty God, righteous judge, holy of holies, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. The earth is His footstool, and to His kingdom there is no end! Breached Births The Spirit of the Lord says this day: “There has been a breach—breached births, My...

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

10 Reasons the Apostolic Movement Is Essential to Gospel Expansion

The global apostolic movement is the most significant expression of Christianity today. This is the view expressed by historian Philip Jenkins. He talks about the rapid expansion of the church in the global south, much of which is reminiscent of the first-century...

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Experience a Better Kind of Love in Your Relationships

Do you have any relationship struggles? Perhaps you want to learn how to love, for real. Too often today, people search for a fairytale love and are disappointed when the fairytale fizzles, which it will. Michael Gibson, author of Real Life Love, challenges folks to...

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

The Power of Godly Words Over Another Life—and Yours

Have the words that others have spoken over you ever significantly impacted you? Words can birth destinies on the inside of us and bring hope to our hearts for the future. They have the power to ignite our dreams and give life to our souls. At the same time, negative...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

How You Can Foil the Plot Against Your Life

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus warned us that we have an enemy, and he is a thief. He steals our joy, purpose, peace and, if he can, our future. Jesus knew it was important to warn us...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]