Monday, October 20, 2014

Music Album Review - His Kids United Christmas Vol 1

Even this 66 year old grandfather can find some things to like about this album. There is a nice mix of old carols with music and tempo I like, but also a really nice variety of music styles, some quite contemporary, that I find appropriate for the happy celebratory time that Christmas is. The mix of songs is aimed at children 5-14 years old, but really has something for everyone.

I like the saxophone in “All I Have to Give”. It fits so well, like the violin and viola in "Ashokan Farewell"  played in Ken Burn's PBS Civil War Series. 

I am not a fan of rap, but found some of the rap in “Light of Christmas” I liked and thought it was interspersed quite appropriately among the melody lines. Because it contains a nice range of music styles and mix of old and new music, along with four well done original songs, I would not mind listening to this album with my grandkids.

Here is the track list:

    1. Here We Come A-Caroling (Wassail Song)
    2. Light Up The World (feat. Jovany Javier)
    3. Jingle Bell Rock
    4. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
    5. All I Have To Give
    6. Light of Christmas
    7. Jingle Bells
    8. No Better Holiday
    9. Away In A Manger
    10. Christmas Time Is Here
    11. I Hope This Gets To You
    12. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
    You can hear a sample track here

      Friday, October 3, 2014

      Review - Your Life With Christ by Rebecca Manley Pippert

      LIVE is a 5 session DVD course with participant workbook intended to help new Christians, non-Christians and confused Christians start and mature in the Christian life. This material is part of 3 sequenced courses with the titles LIVE, GROW and KNOW. The sessions on the DVD are downloadable from the web using the key provided in the DVD case. The download is not intuitive, as you must right click on the video stream to ‘save video as’ in order to download it.

      A Leader’s Guide (downloadable) is helpful in organizing either a 90 minute or 60 minute class. It gives a good summary of the theme of each session. The session titles are:
      1.       How Do I Know It is Real? (based on John 20:19-31)
      2.       What is the Good News? (based on John 3:1-18)
      3.       Is It Worth IT?  (based on Luke 9:18-36)
      4.       A Time For Commitment? (based on Acts 9:1-19)
      5.       New Life in Christ. (based on John 15:1-13)

      About two-thirds of each session is devoted to bible study and discussion. The DVD is shown 3 times during the session, with the suggested sequence as follows
      •          Social Time
      •          DVD - Introduction
      •          Read Historical Context section of guide
      •          Bible Study
      •          Live What You Learn – a series of questions to help you connect with the bible lesson
      •          DVD – Following Jesus – Becky Pippert talks about the main themes
      •          DVD – Real Stories – People sharing the story of how they came to Christ or stories of the Christian life
      •          Praying Together.

      The Participant Guide has a section called ‘Going Deeper’ which is a fairly good section for use in between sessions, but not required for the study itself.  The Leader’s Guide would be a lot more useful if it had suggested answers to the questions in the Participant Guide. There are some useful resources for each session listed in the back of the Participant Guide.

      I think the course would be useful for the stated participants, but its value will depend a great deal on the discussion leader and his/her ability to answer the questions in the guidebook.

      I received this resource for free from The Good Book Company via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review.