Controlling the Tongue
By R.T. Kendall, Charisma House,
softcover, 224 pages, $19.99.
This slim volume offers a sobering examination of what R.T. Kendall calls his “unfavorite” Bible verse—Matthew 12:36—and its warning that one day we will have to give an account for every idle word. Drawing out scriptural principles and exploring biblical and present-day examples, Kendall manages to present a hope-filled and inspiring challenge on a topic that could easily be condemning. Having explained how and why one’s words need to be stewarded carefully—because of their tremendous power for good or ill will—Kendall provides practical steps for, as the book’s subtitle explains, “Mastering the What, When and Why of the Words You Speak.” Kendall employs the same blend of straightforward, clear Bible teaching, personal vulnerability and passion for godliness that marked his best-selling Total Forgiveness (Charisma House), some of whose connected themes relating to pride are revisited here. Addressing gossip, lying, temper and self-aggrandizement, he advises, with a nod to the awkward verse in question: “Always assume that what you say will be quoted.”
East of the River
By Robin Mark, Integrity Music.
The worship of Belfast, Northern Ireland’s, Christian Fellowship Church under the direction of leader Robin Mark (writer of hit song “Days of Elijah”) is spotlighted in the new project East of the River. Having sold more than 800,000 units and known for blending Celtic instrumentation with modern worship sounds, the singer and church have created a popular and distinctive European worship style. The album features 14 tracks, including the church anthem “He Shall Reign,” the upbeat “Heaven’s Gates,” a bouncy version of modern-worship classic “Crucified With Christ” and the tender acoustic track “Lost and Found,” a celebration of peace in the midst of the storms of life and the transforming power of Christ’s love. East of the River is a noteworthy project, pulling listeners in for a blended worship experience and message of hope.
I Believe in You
By Joel Engle, Spin 360 Records.
Joel Engle, a worship leader who previously released independent worship projects and a national solo debut, returns with his second disc, I Believe in You. The singer-songwriter, who will evoke stylistic comparisons to Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman and perhaps even Brian Littrell, brings a collection of inspired new praise tracks on a backdrop of impressive pop rock. Many songs could be considered great singles, delivering catchy hooks and notable lyrics. These include the title track, the earnest praise of “O Great God,” the heartfelt “Capture Me Again,” the polished pop of “Invincible” and the soaring “Your Love Reigns.” “First Love” is a catchy modern-pop worship track, and “Land of the Living” makes a melodic-pop statement. It’s always great to hear fresh, original songs of praise to use in personal and corporate worship. With Engle’s refined talents on full display, I Believe in You may very well present him with a new level of recognition among listeners and fellow worshipers.
Live: One Last Time
By The Clark Sisters, EMI Gospel.
The Clark Sisters are regarded as legends in music today. Their signature vocal style of jazzy riffs, scats and runs has influenced both gospel and mainstream artists such as Faith Evans, Kelly Price and Kim Burrell. Live: One Last Time marks their reunion and their first recording together in 12 years. The majority of this 17-track CD features songs written by Twinkie Clark along with incredible vocals by her sisters, Karen Clark Sheard, Jacky Clark Chisholm and Dorinda Clark Cole. It begins with the R&B flavored “Livin'” and flows into the inspirational “Blessed and Highly Favored.” The sisters’ harmonies shine on their signature hits such as “My Redeemer Liveth,” “Jesus Is a Love Song” and “You Brought the Sunshine.” Live: One Last Time is a timeless classic.
By J. Moss, Gospo Centric Records.
J. Moss has established himself as one of the hottest producers and songwriters. His solo debut, The J Moss Project, garnered much acclaim, including multiple Stellar Awards. With his latest release, Moss pushes the envelope with the music, subject matter and production. The 14-track CD ranges from hard-hitting jams to powerful worship. V2 begins with Moss collaborating with some of gospel’s best, such as Kirk Franklin on “Dance,” Byron Cage and pastor Marvin Winans on “We Love You Remix,” and Anthony Hamilton on the apologetic “I’m Not Perfect.” Standout track “Florida” is bold and honest, tackling the issue of maintaining integrity while battling fleshly desires. V2 does not disappoint and continues the momentum that has made Moss a success.
Holding Nothing Back
By Tim Hughes, Sparrow Records.
Worship artist and writer of popular song “Here I Am to Worship,” Tim Hughes returns with a new collection of modern worship tracks. Produced by Nathan Nockels (Watermark, Passion series) and Matt Bronleewe (Jars of Clay, Plumb), Holding Nothing Back also has a purposeful connection with modern worship band Delirious, with the group’s lead guitarist, Stu G, appearing on several tracks and singer Martin Smith sharing songwriting duties with Hughes on the rousing title track and the solemn “Clinging to the Cross,” a duet with New Zealand singer Brooke Fraser. Holding Nothing Back is a fitting title as this project capably delivers not only an electrifying and effective worship project, but also one of the year’s best releases all around.
The Prophetic Intercessor
By James W. Goll, Chosen Books,
Softcover, 240 pages, $13.99.
These days it’s easy to be disheartened: world crises, church problems, personal issues. But in The Prophetic Intercessor: Releasing God’s Purposes to Change Lives and Influence Nations, James W. Goll declares that instead of feeling hopeless, it’s time for Christians to start earnestly engaging in prophetic intercessory prayer. He doesn’t simply issue the challenge; he provides ample biblical references and compelling personal accounts of the power, importance and impact of intercessory prayer. Goll’s passion permeates the book as he digs deep into this often-misunderstood topic and masterfully breaks it down. Goll’s book provides a valuable, practical resource for churches and individuals truly seeking to make a difference in today’s world. A 21-day Devotional Guide helps readers take the first steps of entering into this realm of spiritual warfare.
Creative Christian Media
By Phil Cooke, Ph.D.; Xulon Press;
Softcover; 152 pages; $13.99.
Media consultant, TV producer and writer Phil Cooke definitely has the experience to advise Christians on using the media wisely. But this book isn’t filled with just knowledgeable advice; it contains a prophetic challenge as well. Although Cooke aims to encourage Christians to be technically savvy about producing movies, using television and putting up Web sites, he also wants to impart the correct mind-set about how to communicate to this culture in a way people will listen. He asserts that though the good news of Jesus Christ never changes, the way the message is conveyed must be relevant to the audience to which it is presented. Christians must not rely on stale modes of the past but should be the most creative people on the planet.
Deborah L. Delk
The Power of Simple Prayer
By Joyce Meyer, FaithWords,
297 pages, hardcover, $22.99.
With her trademark simplicity, Bible teacher and best-selling author Joyce Meyer gives a strategy to improve Christians’ prayer lives in The Power of Simple Prayer: How to talk to God about Everything. Prayer, Meyer asserts, is easier than we think if we unshackle it from rules, regulations, legalism and obligations. Meyer details how to accept God’s invitation to partner with Him in accomplishing meaningful tasks on Earth through prayer. Meyer skillfully makes this topic uncomplicated and applicable. She encourages believers to connect with God to discover their unique method of praying. In the book’s 14 chapters, Meyer gives keys on incorporating praise, worship, thanksgiving, intercession, agreement, the Bible and obedience into a fruitful prayer life. Readers who want to enhance their prayer lives and release any stress about not praying as much as they like might enjoy the freedom in prayer illustrated and taught in this book.
Tracee N. Mason
The 10 Most Common Objections to Christianity
By Alex McFarland, Regal Books,
Softcover 224 pages, $14.99.
People often believe what they want to believe rather than what can be proven to them. An open heart is a precursor to an open mind. Author and apologist Alex McFarland acknowledges early in his book that the way it is approached is vitally important. Those who really want to object will continue to do so, but for those who sincerely want to learn, this book can open up a new understanding of the Christian faith. The topics he deals with include the existence of God, the validity and accuracy of Scripture, evolution vs. creationism, and Christianity’s exclusive claim for salvation. McFarland is the president of Southern Seminary and is a popular conference speaker and weekly host of the radio talk show Truth Talk Live.
Deborah L. Delk
By Richard and Evangeline Abanes,
Harvest House, softcover, 350 pages, $13.99.
White supremacists are attacking. Journalist Frank Delafield escapes death and is on a quest to find out how they could conspire under the eyes of the law. But he discovers a more sinister plot—in the church, where some plan to replace the government with leadership based on Adolf Hitler’s teachings. Can he thwart the mission and save lives?
By Joyce Meyer and Deborah Bedford,
FaithWords, hardcover, 320 pages, $21.99.
When Jenny Blake, 14, stooped to pick up a penny, she stopped a robbery, got a job and met Miss Shaw. The new friendship transforms them both, and they are able to confront the secrets of their pasts. The two see that God works in mysterious ways and can use anything, even a penny.
By Terri Blackstock, Zondervan,
Softcover, 352 pages, $14.99.
Oak Hollow has been in a global blackout for eight months. The residents are trying to survive, but the situation can bring out the worst in people. Mark Green is in jail for murder, and it seems the entire city has already convicted him. But Deni Branning believes Green is innocent, and she wants to find the true killer and prove that he is not a murderer.
New On DVD
Crave is a new series of short films that visually demonstrates the principles outlined in pastor and award-winning author Erwin McManus’ book Soul Cravings. Each disc features an introduction from McManus and a short message on the meaning of the film. This series would be appropriate in a church or group setting.
Night at the Museum
Fox Home Entertainment
Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) has a hard time keeping a job. When he is hired as a night guard in a museum, he is determined not to quit. But he doesn’t know that at night everything comes to life, including the statue of Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams) and a T-Rex skeleton. Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney and Bill Cobbs add a fun twist to the story. This film is rated PG.
Warner Home Video
Enjoy another year with the Walton family. In season five World War II begins. The Hindenburg crashes. There’s a wedding in the family. John Boy begins his newspaper. Much is going on in this large family, and each member is experiencing life in his or her own way, but they all cherish their common bond. The season’s 24 episodes are available in a five-disc set.