What 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?
The 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.
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.
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.
Lead 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.
“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.
Jason 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.”
Have 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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.