Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

MUSIC REVIEWS and NEWS

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The Crucifixion of Jesus – Fernando Ortega
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Fernando Ortega, one of our most beloved Christian artists, returns with his first album since 2011’s Come Down O Love Divine. The Crucifixion of Jesus, which features eleven contemplative songs and six readings (which were selected and edited by his pastor), is a wonderful project about Holy Week, that will allow you to meditate on Jesus’ arrest and death and sacrifice. Ortega co-produced the album with Bernard Chadwick, and it was engineered and mixed by Brandon Bell.

Below are a few brief comments on each song:

Blessed Be Our God – This is a beautiful song that features Ortega’s vocal over piano and cello and light backing vocals.

Prepare The Way, O Zion – This song was written by Frans Mikael Franzen. It features light drums, piano and cello. It is about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem where he will be crucified.

House of Prayer – This short song is about Jesus cleansing the temple (John 11:15-18). His house shall be called a prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of thieves.

In My Father’s Kingdom – This song is about the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Mark 12-24). It features piano and cello.

Stay with Me Here – The song is about Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 26: 26-42). Jesus’ soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. He pleads for his disciples to stay with him and keep watch with him. Features piano and cello.

Your Will Be Done – This short song is a prayer to the Father that His will be done. It features a light guitar.

O Great Love, O Love Beyond Measure – He sings about a great love beyond measure that Jesus would lay down his life for a faithless sinner. He didn’t turn away from those who struck his face. It features piano and guitar.

Ah, Holy Jesus, How Have You Offended? – The was written by Johann Heermann in 1630 about the doctrine of Christ’s atonement. We denied Christ. We crucified him. The song features piano, cello, and backing vocals from Audrey Assad, Jonathan Noel and Amanda Noel.

My Song is Love Unknown – This song was previously recorded by Fernando on his 2002 album Night of Your Return.  It features a guitar solo, as well as backing vocals from Audrey Assad. The lyrics were written by Samuel Crossman and John Ireland.

This is my friend, my friend indeed, 
Who at my need, His life did spend. 

Psalm 22 – This short song is taken from Psalm 22:1 which Jesus quoted from cross “My God why have you forsaken me?”

Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted – This song previously recorded by Fernando on his 2002 album Night of Your Return. It features piano, cello and light backing vocals.

Here we have a firm foundation
Here the refuge of the lost
Christ the Rock of our Salvation
Is the name on which we boast 

  • Glory Song. Matt Redman’s upcoming album will be titled Glory Song. Can’t wait.
  • After a slow start to the year, there are a number of upcoming releases that I’m looking forward to. Here they are, with anticipated release dates:
    • Revival – Third Day (August 4)
    • Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed Present Magic & Bird – Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed (August 4)
    • Hardcuts (EP) – NEEDTOBREATHE
    • Echoes – Matt Maher (September 15)
    • Wide Open – Michael McDonald (September 15)
    • Give More Love – Ringo Starr (September 15)
    • Roll with the Punches – Van Morrison (September 22)
  • One-on-One with Keith Getty about Being Awarded by the British Empire, Modern Hymns, and His New Book. Ed Stetzer interviews respected hymn writer Keith Getty.
  • Music for the Church: Mark Dever Interviews Keith Getty. Pastor and author Mark Dever recently sat down with hymn writer and musician Keith Getty to talk about his hymn-writing, the effects of technology on church music, and more.
  • Federal Judge Orders Chris Tomlin to Stop Adding Choruses to Perfectly Good HymnsThe Babylon Bee, Your Trusted Source for Christian News Satirereports “The order bars Tomlin from modifying, altering, deleting, or adding any lyrics of songs originally published in church hymnals before 1959.”
  • Impossible Things. Speaking of Chris Tomlin (one of my favorite artists), here is the lyric video for his song “Impossible Things” featuring Danny Gokey. The song is on Never Lose Sight, my top album for 2016.
  • Is It Justifiable for Christian Artists to Use Swear Words?Thabiti Anyabwile states that when it comes to speech, we must take our stand with Scripture.
  • Global Hymn Sing ’17 Montage Video. On June 25, almost 600,000 believers representing 67 countries joined in singing the hymn “For the Cause” in their worship gatherings as an act of solidarity for Global Missions. Over 25 distinct language groups were represented, and this year’s hymn sing focused on investing in the next generation of worshippers, especially featuring over 30,000 children helping to lead their congregations. Here is the official montage video for the #GlobalHymnSing
  • In My Father’s Kingdom. Check out the lyric video for “In My Father’s Kingdom” from Fernando Ortega’s new album The Crucifixion of Jesus”.
  • Video for “I’ll Find You” by Lecrae (featuring Tori Kelly). This video is being used to help raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to continue to lead the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
  • Propaganda Shakes Loose The ‘Shackles’ Of Beauty Standards With ‘Darkie’ Video: Premiere. Tatiana Cirisano writes “The song off the former Tunnel Rats hip-hop collective member’s fifth solo album Crooked, “Darkie” is a politically-driven, masterfully-written analysis of cultural beauty standards. And the song’s music video, dropping today (July 21) on Billboard, is just as raw and emotive.”

Don’t let your ego write a check your character can’t cash. Lecrae

God will move mountains to put you where He wants you. Chris Tomlin

God may break us down, but only to rebuild us into what he wants us to be. Lecrae

God knows our tendency to fear. That is why His Word is full of reasons not to. Chris Tomlin

Find It In Your Heart by Michael McDonald

 

Who doesn’t love that great voice of Michael McDonald, the former lead singer of the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan collaborator? He will release Wide Open, his first studio album in over nine years, on September 15th, his first album of original material in 17 years. Listen to the first single from the album “Find It In Your Heart” here.

In December, 2015, we enjoyed McDonald’s This Christmas: An Evening of Holiday and Hits concert at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis. Read my review here. McDonald returns to St. Louis at the Peabody Opry House on November 3. Get tickets here.

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence ~ married to my best friend for more than 37 years, a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 50 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I enjoy speaking about calling, vocation and work. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinders themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony and Achiever, and my two StandOut strengths roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book and Colossians 3:23 my favorite verse. Some of my other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, The Prodigal Son (originally titled A Tale of Two Sons) by John MacArthur and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. I enjoy Christian hip-hop/rap music, with Lecrae, Trip Lee and Andy Mineo being some of favorite artists.

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