Daily Archives: December 11, 2007

Music Review Tuesday

Today “Music Review Tuesday” is taking a gentler approach to the music. I am also following the course laid out from last week and reviewing another Christmas album. It is the season to be sure and I hope I don’t turn off my usual head banging readers. The artist I am reviewing today is Josh Groban, and before I hear anymore groans from the hard core element of my readership which could likely have been me, I need to remind that this is music review Tuesday and I am trying to pursue a variety of music. Josh Groban is a Grammy nominated American singer/songwriter known for his mature baritone voice. He is a very talented vocalist and has recorded with many like musicians in his young life. He was born in Los Angeles in 1981. He is mostly known for his classical pieces but he has also performed and recorded songs more in line with the pop culture. I encountered an example of this just last night while searching for Christopher Parkening performances. Groban and Parkening perform “Vincent” originally written and recorded by Don McLean.

Noel is the name of his Christmas album. It was released October 9th, 2007. It sold over 1.5 million copies in the first eight weeks of it’s release. The sales for this release have exceeded his previous releases by more than 3 times. The album begins with a solitary church bell ringing in the background and then Groban’s voice gently comes in with “Silent Night”. It is beautifully done. The next track is “Little Drummer Boy” one of my Christmas favorites and one that can be done very well by talented folks. This version is done very well. The next track is “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and is even hard for me to write about. The recording has messages from family members of service men and women added throughout. I have listened to it at least four times now and I have yet to get through it without tearing up. Seriously, this head banger does tear up. What would any Christmas album from a very talented singer be without performing the classical “Ava Maria”? This is the following track and Groban nails it so to speak. He was born to sing these kinds of songs.

The album highlights are “Silent Night”, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” (sniff sniff), “Ava Maria”, “The Christmas Song” which is not as soulful as Nat King Cole but a great version in it’s own right. “First Noel” which is a duet with Faith Hill, “Petit papa Noel” is a classic French Christmas song, translated “Little Santa Claus”, “Panis Angelicus” which means “bread of angels” written by Thomas Aquinas, “O Come All Ye Faithful” performed with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is done very well and is the perfect end to this beautiful Christmas album.

For a Christmas album this is by far one of the best I’ve heard in a long time (Trans-Siberian Orchestra aside). It would be an excellent purchase and add to anyone’s Christmas music collection. It is very well produced and the song selections are perfect for Groban’s voice. I will give it a conservative four stars out of five.

For your pleasure I also have included the video for “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” from Good Morning America.

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Posted by on December 11, 2007 in Christmas music, Josh Groban, Music Review, Noel


Keeping Our Priorities Straight, 10 Priorities for the believer, Part 3

Yesterday Pastor Pat finished his series on “Keeping Our Priorities Straight, 10 priorities for the believer. We started off this last Sunday in the series with a look at Matthew 16:18. Christ says:

I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Are we being used by Christ to build His church? Using these priorities, which are not inspired as such, but are derived from what inspired scripture teaches about Christian living and the church. The past two weeks weeks we looked at priorities 1 through 5. Today we will finish with 6 through 10.

6. Prayer – Matthew 22:37

Love God with everything that you are. Is prayer a chore for you? When you love God, guess what will happen? You will talk to Him. Your prayer will not cease. Your conversation will be on going. Your dependence on God is reflected in your communication with Him.

7. Love – Matthew 22:39

Love your neighbor as yourself. Who is our neighbor? Based on scripture, it is anyone who has a need. John 13:34, 35 also commands us to love the brethren, or other believers. For if we love our fellow believers the lost will know that we are His disciples. How do we love other believers? We can do this by just showing up. We can do this by serving them and ministering to them.

8. Leadership – 1 Timothy 3:1-16

There are qualifications for leading Christ’s church, and they are serious qualifications. Not everyone is qualified to be a church leader. There are levels of Christian maturity much like there are levels of human maturity.

9. Accountability – Matthew 18:15 – 20

Verse 18 reminds us that when we do church discipline this way then heaven will be in agreement with us. This is the way Jesus says to do church discipline. It’s His church, He owns it, and He says to do it this way. Enough said!!

10. Equipping of the saints – Ephesians 4:11 – 16

In order to mature in our faith we need to pursue the meat of the Word. We cannot grow spiritually on milk alone. God has given some the ability to be pastors, and some to be teachers to help develop newer believers and immature believers, who will mature and in turn teach and minister to others. Stop sitting!! Get plugged in!! Be a minister!!!

This concludes the series. I pray that it will remind us of what our priorities are as members of Christ’s church and how we are to conduct ourselves in light of his Word.

As with the previous posts I have included the audio to this past weeks sermon here.

The audio for the series is found here.

Soli Deo Gloria!!