Archives For Review

I remember it like yesterday. It actually wasn’t yesterday, but about a year ago when the IPAD 2 came out and I brought it home. One of the main reasons I bought it, besides being an extension to my design business, is that I had found the app ONSONG. If you have been living under the “worship leader rock” let me break it down for you in simple terms. For years worship leaders have had many 3″ binders filled to the brim with loads of sheet music. On top of that we have been killing trees to print copies of charts transposed in 35 keys and variations for our vocalists, musicians, and techs. I am not a tree hugger but lets be honest, it has been a huge waste of money and time.

When I found ONSONG everything changed. I was now able to have hundreds of transposable songs in my ipad and access to sites where I can download new stuff. These sites include CCLI, Rockin with the cross, misc internet sites, and then the best part is it connects to dropbox. I sing with a few other people who also have ipads and the features that ONSONG provides allow people to be able to link to other users is amazing.

One amazing thing that I found after finding onsong and being a self-proclaimed fanatic of the product is I have literally convinced 4 people so far to buy an ipad just for this amazing app.

I lead worship at a multichurch, flow by the spirit prayer meeting. The addition of ONSONG into that mix has given me the ability to have hundreds of songs in any key on want at the tap of a finger. Gone are the days of my 700lb. binder and expensive plastic page protectors. I now show up to lead worship with an ipad and, as of last week, a new bluetooth pedal called Pageflip Cicada.

I have wanted a foot pedal to use with ONSONG so I could turn pages without using my finger. The are a few options out there and most are really pricey, but the Cicada is only $79.99. I lead worship most of the time as the only musician so it is very difficult to turn pages at same time as trying to keep the music flowing. After winning the Cicada on my buddy Chris Burke’s site my feet do all the work for me. I had my first test last week with the pedal and give it a 9.8/10 rating. The only reason it is not a perfect 10 is because it is so light weight and noiseless that I can’t even tell if I am pushing it. There is no resistance and it is flat so it is hard to tell it is even there. In the end though this pedal is AMAZING! It is a must have and is now being added to my pedal board set up.

Let me sum up here with a few points for worship leaders:

  1. You need an ipad (cus I said so)
  2. You MUST download the onsong app (it’s only $4.99)
  3. You don’t “need” a pageflip Cicada, but I think you should get it
  4. Combination of ipad, cicada, and onsong is like the trinity of AWESOMENESS! I am convinced all three are “God inspired”

ONSONG APP
Pageflip Cicada
ipad 

Got any questions? ASK ME!!

I am a huge fan of Pete Wilson as a pastor, blogger, parent and aquiantence. Pretty much anything he says I want to hear. I read his first book “plan B” three times and am currently discussing it in my churches small group. Because of this when I received an advance copy of “empty promises” I was very excited. Sadly it took me a little longer to get to than I’d hoped. This morning as I fed my kids breakfast I cracked it open and in about an hour I had digested the whole thing. (I am a fast reader)

This book was fantastic. I have been in ministry for a long time now and feel the mid-ministry crisis coming on strong recently. Frustration, creative longing, and a feeling of plowing through cement.  Pete’s first book really gave me clarity into my multiple plan b’s and c’s, but this one gave me new insight into fears and failures. It covered idols and worship of something other than God. I find myself needing to do a self analysis after reading this because I realized I was dealing with many of the issues in the first 3 chapters.

I love the title of the book but for my sake I think I will change it to: “the contentment pill”. In the peaks and valleys of a life filled with broken dreams and empty promises the real issue comes down to ; will you find your contentment in Christ. There is no pill you can take, no idol you can replace Him with, no that or relationship that will give you that.

We are all so good a preaching what is written in this book, but we all need to daily trust God and be still and “know” that He alone is all we need.

Go buy this book and if you haven’t read plan b buy it too!

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Grace Effect
How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
By Larry Taunton

I received this book to review a few months ago and I have to say it was an ok read. In the book he uses his adoption of his youngest daughter from the world of communism as the underbed for his book. He uses it to basically to show that God’s grace exists through the presence of Christians. He comes to great conclussions with beautiful examples however I just could not get into this book.

I remember reading Blue like jazz which had a “blog” style of writing and this one is very similar. I have never been able to get into books that are written like that because they feel liked pieced together posts jammed into a cover. I love the hope he gives us that shows us that no world or situation are beyond redemption from “the grace effect”. So basically I love his discussion and story, but find that his writing style bothered me.

He also loved to jam in giant words and drawn out sentences just for the sake it. Long story short it was an ok read with a great topic and hope but in a writing style that I found to be bothersome at times.

With that said I think it is worth the read but there are better books on grace like from Yancy and others.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sun Stands Still by Steven Furtik

I received this book to review over a year ago and have been slow to post a review of it. It might be because I am lazy, but it is also because I have read it multiple times. I have devoured it’s content and even discussed it in a small group that I lead.

This is one amazing book derived around the story in the bible where the sun actual did stand still because God responded to an audacious prayer. I have learned a lot through reading this. I love how furtick lays out the need for us to not only dream big but pray with ferver and without ceasing. This topic was greatly needed for me for prayers for my family, ministry, work and other things. I run a multichurch prayer meeting with a friend of mine and we have been dreaming huge things for it and our community. I am now making sure to pray prayers like in this book.

My only beef with what furtick wrote is in a chapter where he discusses boring prayer. He makes a case that boring prayer is less effective and we need plead a case before God. I have thought and prayed about that a bunch and have come to the conclusion that boring is subjective. Boring to whom? I personally believe that if we come to God in prayer he is never bored, but hears and listens to everything we say to Him.

In the end that one small disagreement doesn’t mean that this book isn’t valuable because it is. Read it… act on it… teach it… and live it.

An amazing book from an inspiring pastor doing great and audacious things for God.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from waterbrook multnomah to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Paul Baloche “The Same Love”

Paul Baloche’s New album “The Same Love” Releases next Tues amongst lofty acclaim and in my opinion some very baffling reviews. Yes the general consensus is that it is brilliant, but I have heard too many people state that Paul is intentionally trying to not sound like…Paul.

I am a huge fan of guys like Steven Curtis Chapman that year after year, decade after decade, can change their sound based on where we are sonically in the times. People who are always trying to push the limits.

“There are a lot of songs about the Cross on this record. People are almost apologetic about it, and yet I feel challenged not to shrink from it. Our tendency is to make our language inclusive and seeker friendly. And I get that, but we also need songs that point to the truth of the new covenant.” – Paul Baloche

Paul loves to push the boundaries lyrically. He has always veered towards making songs the church could use, keeping them in the current style, but not watering down the gospel.

The only issue I have seen though is his studio recordings never captured the brilliance and anointing that came from Paul Live. I have heard many times from friends who were not fans of the CD’s but then saw Paul live and were blown away. In the past I felt the same way. There was something about the production that gave us only a “piece of Paul”. We lost the “living room” atmosphere that Paul loves to speak on.

2 weeks ago I received “The Same Love” and I exhaled one word. “FINALLY”
This is the CD from Paul I have been waiting for. Arguably the most influential worship songwriter of our time will release next tues his best CD that he has ever recorded.

Paul is joined by co-writers like Jason Ingram, Ben Gowell, Ed Kerr, All Sons & Daugters, Brothers McClurg, Lincoln Brewster, Kari Jobe and more.  Paul is the master of the co-write with many of his greatest hits written with Brenton Brown and this album illustrates more of that gifting.

Songs like “Your Blood Ran down” bring us into deep communion with the sacrifice Christ made on the Cross. It is gripping in it’s simplicity.

Of course the Title track is a knockout and a reminder of God’s faithfulness.

I used to go track by track, but honestly there is not a bad song on this CD.

I want to highlight a few more though.

“king of heaven”, co-written with Jason Ingram is earthy and almost reminiscent of a Gungor track. What’s not to like about Baloche and a banjo!

“Christ the Lord” will become the next great Easter song for the church.

“Oh Our Lord”, co-written with All Sons & Daughters is brilliant track lifting up the name of Jesus. “we reach for you;we cling to you Oh Lord”. I will be introducing this song very soon in my church.

Paul also covers “Just Say” which was Co-written with Bros. McClurg. I loved this song on their CD, but it is even better done by Paul.

Paul captures an intimate worship feel on many tracks and gives us the much sought after living room feel. There are many anthem songs on here as well that will make their way into church set list rotation everywhere soon.

Let me end with this: This is the Paul Baloche CD I have been waiting for. The Production is perfect and the writing is nothing less than remarkable.

If you are a Baloche fan you will love this album. If you are a worship leader you will spend many thoughts trying to decide if it’s ok to introduce all of these songs to your church next week. If you have never heard of Paul, GET WITH THE PROGRAM! If you have never been into Paul’s stuff keep in mind what I said above. This is the CD to listen to so jump in head first and worship along side one of the greatest.


Because This CD is so great I am going to be giving away 3 copies of the digital cd, digital experience, and physical CD.

I have added a widget below to make it simple.

YOU MUST COMMENT BELOW.. tell me the baloche song that has ministered to you most over the years.

Then click the green button in the widget. There are many chances to have entries in to the random drawing so click the green button and tweet, like, and subscribe to RSS for entries to win these.

The Deadline is Sat at Midnight… so spread the word and get on it!!! “YOU MUST HAVE A VALID EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS”


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this CD free from Integrity Music to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”