Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview


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New and Upcoming Music I’m Excited About….and You May Be Too

As we settle into 2020, there are a number of new and upcoming albums, in a variety of genres, that I’m excited about, and you may be as well. Let’s get started….

Let There Be Wonder – Matt Redman

Let There Be Wonder is worship leader, singer/songwriter Matt Redman’s fourteenth album, and first since 2017’s Glory Song. Redman has given us worship classics like “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)” “The Heart of Worship” and “Blessed Be Your Name”. The new album was produced by Jacob Sooter and Joshua Silverberg, and was recorded live in front of more than 1,000 people at a California church. Redman wrote all of the songs with a variety of collaborators. This is the first really good album that I’ve heard of 2020, and is sure to make it onto my “Favorites” list for the year.

Click on ‘Continue Reading’ to find more new tunes.  Enjoy! Continue reading


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BOOK REVIEWS and NEWS


Sing! How Worship Transforms Your Life, Family and Church by Keith and Kristyn Getty. B&H Books. 176 pages. 2017
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This excellent book written by respected modern hymn-writers Keith and Kristyn Getty is a gift to the church. It can be read individually or as a group. The authors include helpful suggestions on how churches can use the book. The book includes helpful discussion questions at the end of each chapter that readers will benefit from, whether the book is read individually or as a group. The book is intended to be practical, which it is, though not prescriptive.

The authors have five urgent goals for the book:
1 – To help pastors, musicians and congregations have a clear vision and understanding of why we sing.
2 – To help each of us realize the importance of what we sing and how those song choices affect our personal lives.
3 – To help us raise our families with an appetite for congregational singing and training in it.
4 – To help our churches become energized and more focused in their congregational singing.
5 – To help fire us to mission as we witness to others through the songs we sing.

The authors write that Martin Luther reinvigorated singing. Singing was the heart of the Reformation. They tell us that we were born to sing, and that we need to learn how to love to sing. Christian singing starts with the heart. It is prayer. Congregational singing is the ultimate choir. We should sing because we love God. We are commanded to sing, so we must do it, primarily with other believers.
The book looks at what we should sing and how we should sing. The Gospel compels us to sing. Worship comes as a response to revelation. We were created, commanded and compelled to sing. The songs we sing on Sunday become the soundtrack for our week.
We need good songs stored up in our hearts. We need to grow our appetite for good congregational singing. Sing to yourself throughout the week what you sang in church on Sunday. Continue reading


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My Review of Sing

singSing, rated PG
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This animated film with a budget of approximately $75 million is directed by Garth Jennings and Christophe Lourdelet. It has been nominated for two Golden Globe awards (for Best Animated Motion Picture and also for Stevie Wonder’s song “Faith” for Best Original Song).

Buster Moon (Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyer’s Club), a koala bear, owns a once grand theatre that has fallen on hard times. He can’t pay the stage hands or the mortgage, and is constantly being hounded by the bank. To help generate interest in the theatre and hopefully keep it from closing, he decides to hold a singing competition (think of American Idol), which is questioned by his best friend sheep Eddie (Oscar nominee John C. Reilly). The plan is to offer a $1,000 prize to the winner. But his elderly one-eyed iguana assistant, and my favorite character, Miss Crawly (Garth Jennings) mistakenly lists the prize amount on fliers as $100,000, rather than $1,000. Needless to say, this prize amount generates a lot of interest.

We meet the contestants, all of whom have dreams, and like American Idol we hear their backstories. Finalists include Johnny the ape (Taron Egerton, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle), Rosito (Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line) a stay at home mom to 25 little piglets, Ash (Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation) a teen punk-rock porcupine, Oscar nominee Seth MacFarlane plays Mike a shady white mouse and Meena (Tori Kelly) is a shy elephant. Throughout the film, you hear bits of more than 85 songs, ranging from the 1940’s to the present day. The film builds to an excellent finale.

I really enjoyed this film. The writing was sharp, and the animation, while not spectacular, was good. While the film will interest children and they will enjoy the animals, some of the backstories were a bit heavy. A theme in the film is to always pursue your dreams. The importance of support from family was another theme.

The film includes a small amount of bathroom humor and some mild sexually suggestive content, such as three female rabbits dancing to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda”, but overall is acceptable for all ages.