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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Icon: Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers #review #FCBlogger #DonaldLawrence #gospel #music #CD #TriCitySingers

I received a copy of this CD, for review, from FamilyChristian.com. I am a family Christian Blogger, however, all opinions are 100% my own.


Details

One of Gospel’s most beloved choirs, The Tri-City Singers formed in the Carolina’s (Spartanburg, SC, Gastonia, NC and Charlotte, NC) in 1993. They’ve topped the Gospel charts repeatedly since then with one radio hit after another. In 2006 the group retired but not without going out with a Grand Finale.

This new addition to the Icon series features 11 of Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers most recognizable songs, including “Blessings Of Abraham,” “Encourage Yourself,” and “Giants.”

Track Listing:

Never Seen the Righteous
The Blessing of Abraham
Encourage Yourself
The Best is Yet to Come
Matthew 28
Testify
Seasons
God’s Favor
When the Saints Go to Worship
Giants
And Yet I’m Still Saved

Review

I am so grateful to have been sent the CD "Icon: Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers", for review, from Family Christian. What an amazing group, singing gospel the way it was meant to be! A powerful, uplifting, and passionate collection - this is pure worship.

In 2006, the group retired with their album "Grand Finale". Their farewell releases made six separate Billboard charts, which is unprecedented for a gospel act. "The Blessing Of Abraham", which is on both albums, shot to number one on the Billboard Hot Gospel Tracks chart. Recorded live over two memorable nights at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, it comes complete with incredible special guests.

As a Music Director, I can tell you that the talent of this group is extraordinary. It's no wonder they have topped the charts and receive such high praise! Donald is a powerful leader and, with such incredible voices backing him up, you will be asking how you can join the choir! I listen to this CD almost daily on my commute to work. It is like a cup of coffee for the soul, reminding me that I am a child of the Most High God and that I have His favor in my life.

I have many favorites on this album, including "When the Saints Go to Worship" and "Matthew 28". Above and beyond the dynamic Christ-centered message, "Matthew 28" is a great example of this group's musical ability. Pitch-perfect, on cue, staccato is an outstanding achievement for any large choir. The Tri-City Singers have mastered it along with Presence and Clarity - two vital qualities in effective Gospel Music. Combine all of this with special guest singers (like Benita Washington and Kelly Price), live recording at the Tabernacle, and a passionate audience and you have a Gospel Masterpiece.

I highly recommend "Icon: Donald Lawrence and The Tri-City Singers". From the perspective of Worshiper and Music Director/Vocal Coach if I could give this CD 6 stars, I absolutely would!

Made by Renee receives products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. Posts may also contain affiliate links. All opinions expressed are solely from Made by Renee and were not influenced by any form of compensation.
Love, Renee 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon #book #review #FCBloggers FamilyChristian




ABOUT THE BOOK

After seven years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant has hit a wall. Ready for a kinder, gentler life, she takes a job as a small-town police chief. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes the resources of her department. A call for assistance brings detective Mac McGregor, an ex-Navy SEAL, to her doorstep. As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them. Someone doesn't want this dead person telling any tales--and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.

Master storyteller Irene Hannon is back with an exciting new series featuring former special forces operatives now in the thick of the action in civilian life. Hannon is at the top of her game in this can't-put-it-down thriller that will have readers up until the wee hours devouring every page. 
FROM THE BACK COVER
They both wanted quieter, safer lives.
But crime never sleeps . . . 
and killers keep killing.

After years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant is ready for the kinder, gentler life of a small-town police chief. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes department resources. Enter ex-Navy SEAL Mac McGregor, the detective sent by the county to assist on the case. As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them. Someone doesn't want this dead person telling any tales--and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.

"The queen of inspirational romantic suspense" (Library Journal) is at the top of her game with this riveting new series.

"Hannon launches the new Men of Valor series, drawing readers in with an ideal blend of romance and intrigue. Women will especially love the strong, independent Lisa and the way Mac respects and admires her intelligence. As they fall for each other but insist on putting work first, readers will avidly pick up each clue, eager to see Hannon's irresistible characters close the case and make room for love."--Booklist

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty-five romantic suspense and contemporary romance/women's fiction novels, including the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have garnered dozens of honors, including two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America. She is also a two-time Christy Award finalist. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty-five novels, including the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, and a National Readers' Choice Award. In addition, she is a Christy Award finalist, and Booklist included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Missouri. 

MY REVIEW
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Family Christian Bloggers and they provided me with a free copy of Buried Secrets for this review. 

An edge-of-your-seat murder mystery, this romantic suspense story is the first book in her new series "Men of Valor". It does lean more heavily on the romance side of things, with the first few chapters being devoted almost entirely to the relationship forming between the two central characters. This is an interesting read because the reader knows who committed the crime, but the characters do not. Therein lies the suspense - how will they figure these Buried Secrets out? 
I was excited to find an author that I felt would allow me the suspense and mystery I crave in reading, while keeping language and gratuities at a minimum. Irene draws the reader into her story and characters with ease. This is the first book I have read by Irene, but I can assure you that I will read more in this series and her others.  

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Renee Chapman LIVE with Whitesburg First Baptist Church Choir | When I Survey the Wondrous Cross | #Easter #Singing #music #Christian





Renee Chapman LIVE with Whitesburg First Baptist Church Choir

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross | March 29, 2015 Easter Cantata



When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.



Made by Renee receives products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. Posts may also contain affiliate links. All opinions expressed are solely from Made by Renee and were not influenced by any form of compensation.
Love, Renee 

Monday, March 30, 2015

On Calvary's Hill #Review #FCBlogger #Christian #Books


About

It's early in the final week. The props and players for Friday's drama are in position. Five-inch spikes are in the bin. A cross-beam leans against a shed wall. The players are nearing the stage--Pilate, Annas and Caiaphas, Judas, the centurions. Players and props. Only this is no play; it's a divine plan. A plan begun before Adam felt heaven's breath, and now all heaven waits and watches. All eyes are on one figure--the Nazarene. 
 Join bestselling author Max Lucado in an exploration of the final days in the life of Christ. In On Calvary's Hill, you'll draw near to the Savior and prepare to celebrate the greatest miracle ever conceived through 40 devotional readings that feature Scripture verses, prayer prompts, and favorite passages from many of Lucado's best-selling books.

My Review

With short and quick chapters, this book is not meant to be read in one sitting. Each chapter starts with a bible verse, ending with a time of reflection and prayer. In the days leading up to Easter, I have found On Calvary's Hill to be the perfect devotional. Comprised of passages from some of Max Lucado's other writings (including No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, He Chose the Nails, and 3:16) this little (but powerful) book walks us through the the last days, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Max speaks on such a personal level that we all can grasp the true meaning and purpose behind the Cross.

One of my favorite chapters, "An Anchor for Your Soul" is simply incredible:
"God is on a cross. The Creator of the universe is being executed."
"It is no normal six hours...it is no normal Friday."
"Let me ask you a question: What do you do with that day in history? What do you do with its claims?"
Powerful.


I received this book free as a member of the Family Christian Blogger program. 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.”

Made by Renee receives products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. Posts may also contain affiliate links. All opinions expressed are solely from Made by Renee and were not influenced by any form of compensation.
Love, Renee 

Monday, February 09, 2015

Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All #Review #FCBlogger #Christian #Books







As an official Family Christian Blogger, I received a copy of "Keep It Shut" to review. 

All opinions/pictures are my own. 



About Keep It Shut


Keep It Shut by Karen Ehman explores how to better control your tongue, knowing what to say and how to say it, and realizing when it is best to say nothing at all.


I am quite the talker.

Not in every situation, but in most. Some would say it's a gift but, at times, it feels more like a curse. Especially when my feelings get hurt. And this was one of those days.

I had just received an email and I couldn't believe what I was reading. How dare they speak to me with such disrespect? They obviously didn't realize who they were speaking to. I wasn't always this sweet, Christian girl who held her tongue! I was going to let them have it - and I did.

The next day, in the mail, I received a copy of "Keep It Shut: What To Say, How To Say It, And When To Say Nothing At All".

As I began to read, something came over me. It was in that very moment that I wished I could have taken back that email. Not that everything I said wasn't true, because it was. But was it necessary? Did I respond out of love or out of anger and hurt? Did I respond the way Christ would have had me? Surely not.

Karen Ehman's style of writing is so very personal. Much like me, she is a talker who has gotten herself into more than one painful situation. Using these situations, and those in the Bible, she invites us to examine our hearts and find our true motivations for what we say. She shows us how to "pause before [we] pounce" and avoid saying something permanently painful just because we are temporarily upset.

I have to be honest, my copy of this book looks like my study bible. It has markings in the margins, highlighted paragraphs, and underlined text. That's how good this book is. I wish every woman I know would read it and share it with their friends. I have absolutely seen a difference in the way I speak, and even the way I pray, since reading it. I have found more love in my heart towards others and a renewed humility in difficult situations. This book has enabled me to take a step back and re-examine myself in light of the Word of God.

This is my prayer: Teach me, Oh God, what is good and acceptable in your sight. Help me to make my speech laced with grace, as sweet as honey, and yet seasoned with salt. Let me be a light to others and show them Who You truly are, by my actions and words.

Stay in touch with all that Family Christian has to offer by visiting their Social Media pages!


Family Christian was kind enough to send me a copy of "Keep It Shut: What To Say, How To Say It, And When To Say Nothing At All", for review purposes, and I am so grateful. All opinions in this post are 100% my own and were not influenced in any way, shape or form.

Made by Renee receives products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. Posts may also contain affiliate links. All opinions expressed are solely from Made by Renee and were not influenced by any form of compensation.
Love, Renee 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Comfortable - but not happy. #church #ministry #music #youtube

"God wants to invite us outside our comfort zone, but we’ve decided to stay safe."

I didn't sing for 15 years before I started singing again at First Baptist Church of Whitesburg.

15 years.

I was comfortable - but not happy. I knew what I was called to do and yet I had too much anxiety to do it. It felt so much safer not doing it.

And then God said "Go". And with a gigantic push from my beloved husband, Danny, I did.



Now I sing in front of hundreds and to a radio audience every Sunday. I lead a magnificent choir, who I love dearly and am proud to call my extended family. I sing for weddings and funerals and cherish that I can share those moments with them.

I don't say these things to boast, but to show the grace of God.

Contrary to what many think, it isn't easy for me - sometimes it is next to impossible. But I'm getting there. I trust in Him to deliver me from my fears and I commit my way to Him.

I know that when I am weak, He is strong.

Thank you for believing in and praying for the First Baptist Church of Whitesburg Choir and Music Ministry. Our Cantata is December 13th & 14th at 6 pm, and we would be so honored for you to attend.

Connect with Renée Chapman!
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please share the video with friends and family!


Made by Renee receives products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. Posts may also contain affiliate links. All opinions expressed are solely from Made by Renee and were not influenced by any form of compensation.
Love, Renee 

My faith is so tiny. #scripture #bible #christian #Jesus #faith




oh, He has been speaking to me about faith.

My faith is so tiny, you know? I think, how can anything good come of this situation? I'm going to fail and everyone will see me do it.

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20 A mustard seed is about 1 cm in diameter. The mustard plant, however, can be 9 feet tall. That's a pretty big thing to come from something so tiny!

And so, I pray.

Father, you are the Almighty God. You, Whose hands stretched out the heavens... Whose eyes have seen the dawn of time.... Whose ears have heard angels' symphonies. You are the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace - You alone are worthy of praise.

I come to You with such little faith, but I know You will honor it. For it is in my weakness that You are made strong. I know that, although it is hard for me to believe that anything good come come of this, you will take that tiny seed of faith and plant it for me. You will make a good and fruitful thing come to pass.

I trust You and believe You for it. I am so grateful for your mercy and compassion. In Jesus' Mighty Name, Amen.




Love, Renee 

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Illuminator Series #8: He calls You by Name



"To whom will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things. Who brings out their host by number; He calls them by name, by the greatness of His power; not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel; “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God?” Isaiah 40: 25 – 27

photo credit http://www.incourage.me/

Have you ever watched the night sky, just when the stars start to shine? That’s when God says to us, “I bring out their host by number, I call them by name...by the greatness of His power…and not one is missing.”

God tells us that, even with billions of stars, “Not one of them is missing.” “I call them all by name”. He has a name for every single star and sees each one.

Why does He share this with us? Because God wants us to understand that there is no one on this earth that He does not know intimately. There is no one on this earth that He does not see. There is no one on this earth that He has forgotten.

The God of the universe, the Lord of lords, the Everlasting Father - He knows each of us by name. He knows who you are, and what is going on in your life, in the most intricate detail.

Life has a way of making us doubt whether He knows what we are going through. “God, are you really there?” we ask. But Jesus said, “Your Heavenly Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.”

Remember His promise, “…those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint”.



Love, Renee