Heaven is for Real

Written by WMCN Editor on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

hifrWhat would you do if your child said he had been to Heaven? Would you believe him? What would you say to your neighbors and friends? How would you explain it to your parishioners if you were the pastor of a church in a small Midwestern town?

New Music Review: Carpenter’s Cross

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

carpenters crossThe West Michigan-based Carpenter’s Cross has just issued a new self-titled collection, containing original-songs written by band members over the past several years.   

Each of the songs contains a scriptural message - whether advice based on a lesson learned or words of encouragement for the Christian life.

CD Review: "Radiate"

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

 Radiate    Singer-songwriter Tricia Brock takes a package full of new songs to her West Michigan concert March 29 at Kent City Baptist Church (details below).
     Best known for her time as lead singer of the inspirational pop-rock band Superchick (which officially broke up last year), Brock has a new solo effort that shines with pop beats and ballads, largely targeted at young women.
     Many of the tunes, such as the up-tempo “Mirror, Mirror” and the ballad “Daughter of a King,” touch on themes of positive self-esteem and the overarching love of God.

New Music Review: Kelsy Rottiers

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

 Thinking of You    The new six-song, acoustic collection from West Michigan-based singer-songwriter Kelsey Rottiers is a personal one. Most of the tunes were influenced by the artist’s courtship and resulting marriage to James Pray several years ago.

     Rottiers, a Cornerstone University music graduate who also studied at the noted Contemporary Music Center, offers her lilting and sometimes mesmerizing vocals highlighted against a sparse instrumental backdrop.

New Music Review Artist: Faithful Journey Quartet

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

sgsLead singer Jim Visser and his Faithful Journey Quartet take the next step in their musical pilgrimage with the new collection, “Southern Gospel Sounds.”     

As the title suggests, there’s a true Southern style bent in many of the tunes. In the fast-tempo “I Wanna Know,” the singers trade lead lines all the way through while nicely capturing the classic Southern quartet harmony sound on the chorus.    

New Music Review: Marvin Sapp's Christmas Card

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

 Marvinsaapchristmas       Nationally renowned gospel singer and Grand Rapids pastor Marvin Sapp has sent out a musical Christmas card this holiday season.

     “Christmas Card” is the title of his first ever seasonal CD collection and contains versions of some traditional carols as well as contemporary songs.

     Sapp, pastor and co-founder of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, brought in several old friends for this project – his fellow singers from his former gospel group Commissioned. Sapp was part of Commissioned in the 1990s before launching ministry as a solo artist.

Healing our Perceptions on the Afterlife

Written by Bree Byle on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

HealingJason Dykstra, M.D., makes a living in the medical field. Part of his job is diagnosing illnesses or problems in the human body, and after years of mentoring college and high school students he has diagnosed a problem with most people’s perceptions about the afterlife. Using his research skills, knowledge of the Bible, and experience as a mentor and medical professional, Dykstra has written a comprehensive book addressing questions about the afterlife:

Healing Hereafter: Finding Rational and Refreshing Answers for Why We’re Here and Where We’re Headed.

“Students and their parents would ask me questions [about the afterlife] and I would write them down. After a few years I had a lot of them,” Dykstra says. These scraps of paper were the seeds that would eventually grow into his book. “I noticed there was lots of confusion, but also lots of interest about the afterlife. It motivated me to put answers together, fill in the gap, give people a product to eliminate doubt.”

David and Diane Munson Release Newest Thriller Novel Stolen Legacy

Written by Bree Byle on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

ddHave you ever seen NCIS? CSI? Another TV crime show with an assortment of letters for a title? Have you ever wondered if elements of those shows happen in real life? David and Diane Munson, a dynamic husband-and-wife writing team, have years of experience in situations like the ones portrayed on these crime shows. They bring their expertise as former federal prosecutor, NCIS agent, and undercover operative to their faith-based international thriller novels. Their newest novel, Stolen Legacy, is set to release on November 5, 2013.

The novel features Martin Vander Goes, a man who travels from the family farm in Zeeland, Michigan to the Netherlands to visit his aunt in 1940. Martin is trapped by the German invasion and finds himself involved in the Dutch resistance. When the U.S. enters the war against Japan and Germany, Martin returns home and enlists in the U.S. Army. He joins the Monuments Men, a group of people General Eisenhower entrusted to rescue Europe’s art masterpieces stolen by the Nazis.

New Music Review: “I Am Mountain” by Gungor

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

GungorMichaelMany West Michigan residents recall singer-songwriter Michael Gungor, who served as music pastor of Resurrection Life Church in Grandville for about five years before moving to Colorado in 2006.

Gungor had already demonstrated his musical gifts in co-writing (“Friend of God,” with Israel Houghton), and in his role as a traveling performer with the Acquire the Fire youth events.

In 2008 Michael, his wife Lisa and newly-formed band (Gungor) released the album “Ancient Skies” which helped place them on a national stage.

New Music Scoop: CD Review

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

jJake_DownWest Michigan singer-songwriter Jake Down (aka Jacob Pauwels) and his band have five new songs on a collection titled “Shipwreck."

Spiritual themes are implicit throughout this acoustic, folk-pop effort, packed with subtle musical textures and picturesque lyrical phrasings.

The opening track borrows from a noted film documentary about the Dust Bowl that plagued the Great Plains states over several years in the 1930s.

Profile: Orlando “Substance” Rodriguez.

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

SubstanceRodriguezOrlandoSinger-songwriter and music producer Orlando “Substance” Rodriguez describes the journey in which his artistry took on a new focus.

“I was part of a group that was selling thousands of records and was really growing,” he recalled of his heyday back in the 1990s with the regional urban-pop group P.U.M.P. who opened shows from major mainstream artists.

He later became a booking agent, went to Chicago and became a songwriter-producer who amassed a catalog of more than 1,500 songs.

New Music Review: Run by Sanctus Real

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Music, Movies & Events

SanctusRealRunSanctus Real and lead singer Matt Hammitt are now on the road with their latest CD,  “Run.”  It’s a collection of songs that tell of hope in life’s struggles.

One of the songs, “Promises,” was inspired by words of assurance a friend shared with Hammitt before the birth of his son Bowen, who had already been diagnosed with a severe heart defect.

“Pray” is a reminder of the importance of that basic practice of faith both in sharing our concerns and thanks, and in lifting up others.

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