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Book Review ~ How To Be A Perfect Christian By Babylon Bee

About The Book


With a biting, satirical style reminiscent of The OnionHow to Be a Perfect Christian takes a humorous look at the quirks of cultural Christianity while subtly challenging the reader to search for more than a cultural faith.

Written in the trademark style of The Babylon Bee, this book humorously satirizes cultural Christianity while peppering in subtle challenges to the reader. Through humor and sarcasm (and a handy meter to rank your “holiness” as you progress through the book), readers will be called to find a more biblical understanding of the Christian faith, all while poking fun at the quirks of the modern, American Christian community.

Category

Religious/Christian/Non-fiction

Genre

Humor

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


Warning: This book is not for everyone! If you’re overly complacent, this book will confuse you. If you’re the slightest bit legalistic, it will offend you. Read at your own risk!  *winks & giggles*

In How To Be A Perfect Christian, The Babylon Bee goes the whole nine yards—humor, irony, and exaggeration—to produce this highly satirical piece meant to poke fun at some traditions that “trend” in Christian circles with the hope that it would lead the reader down the true path set apart from legalism and complacency. With much quirky humor tucked into [almost] every line that ultimately builds into a monumental display of talent, wittiness, wisdom, and skill, it is practically impossible to turn the pages of this masterpiece without spurting a giggle here, a chortle there, and a cackle every few flips! The boldness with which The Babylon Bee engaged and executed this unique work of art is worth commendation as it signals a poignant courage that is scarce and much needed in our day, and especially in the Church to speak up about what is true and beneficial to all in the Body of Christ.

A stunning and thoroughly well written work of art deserving applause!

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My gratitude to Waterbrooke Multnomah for a free print copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About Babylon Bee


The Babylon Bee is today’s most popular source of Christian satire. This trusted fountain of humor consistently shines a spotlight on modern Christian cultural quirks. As it pokes fun at all-too-familiar trends and traditions, it calls each of us to a truer understanding of real biblical faith. With legions of Facebook fans and loyal website visitors, the Babylon Bee spreads laughter across denominational lines to all generations.

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Artist Scoop ~ Interview with Actress, Bethany Davenport

Bethany Davenport is one of the leading ladies in the movie, Summer of ’67, releasing today (read the TBAP review here), a story about love and war, and puts the spotlight on the loved ones left behind by the brave soldiers called up to fight for their country. Bethany plays the role of Kate, a role that puts her in a character role that displays a deeply emotional journey of love, romantically and for family, as well as a journey of trust in God. Kate, in real life, is active, fun and showcases her love for life as a triathlete and sling aerialist, of which the former helped her land a role in an upcoming movie! Kate took the time to chat with us on TBAP today. Take a look!


Miranda ~ Hello Bethany! Delighted to have you visit TBAP! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Bethany: Thank you for having me! There’s not much to tell. I am married and I have two adorable kitties! I love to be active, but I also enjoy chill evenings at home watching TV or movies with my husband. And I love a good book!

Miranda ~ What led you to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Is there a special story?

Bethany: I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school all the way through my first few years of college, and went to Church. I accepted Jesus into my heart as a young girl and continued to renew my life to Him over the years; I think that is pretty typical growing up in a Christian family. Then when I became an adult, I really had to make the choice to make that faith truly my own or walk away. I chose to make it my own! And I continue to make that decision and live by my faith. I think the older I get, I understand more the importance of my faith and being like Christ.

Miranda ~ At what point did you realize you wanted to go into acting? Was it a decision to act just in the Christian Movie industry or are you looking to accept roles in the mainstream as well?

Bethany: I was in middle school when I first became interested in the film industry. I have always loved movies, but it was in middle school when I first became interested in how they were made and the people that brought characters to life. Before that, I was definitely just caught up in the magic of it all and never really thought about the crazy process required to bring a movie to the big screen. When I went into acting as a career, it was to pursue the types of roles that I wanted to do, Christian or not. And that is what I continue to do. I have been involved in both Christian and non-Christian projects, and I have enjoyed doing both. What is important to me is the character I portray, the overall story/message, and if it’s something I feel comfortable attaching my name and face to. The rest is up to Him.

Miranda ~ You’re a triathlete currently learning aerial sling. How do you conveniently combine all these with your acting? Does being a triathlete/sling aerialist play into your acting?

Bethany: I don’t think I necessarily combine them with acting. I think when you are pursuing a career that comes with a lot of rejection, it is good to have other things you like to do. I enjoy being active, and I always have. Triathlon is a hobby my husband and I picked up together about 2 years ago, and we really enjoy it! Sling is more of a creative artistic outlet for me. I had been interested in trying something in the circus arts, and aerial sling seemed like a good fit for me. I grew up doing gymnastics, and I was a diver in college, so this seemed like a fun way to continue to use those skills without the pounding gymnastics takes on your body. And I really love it! If I get to incorporate sling into a role someday, that would be awesome! And coincidentally, being a triathlete helped me land a role in an upcoming film! The character is a track runner, and triathlon has helped me build up a good base for training for that role. When I auditioned, I was in the middle of triathlon training which definitely helped me with my running audition!

Miranda ~ You starred in the pro-life short film, Bump, for which you’ve been nominated for best actress at the ICFF 2018 Award. Why did you accept this role? Is there a principle behind how you generally accept roles?

Bethany: Thank you! Yes, the nomination was totally unexpected and a huge honor. I absolutely loved my time on that set. That project really was something special to be a part of! I accepted the role of Kate in Bump, because I fell in love with the story the first time I read the script. I read it and thought, I can do this! I think I told my husband that at least once a day until I was cast. I just knew I had to be a part of it.
I don’t really have a principle or process behind accepting roles. I am at the point in my career where if I fit the specs of the character, I’m going to audition unless I am uncomfortable with the material. The more established I become as an actor, the choosier I get to be. I have been fortunate in that all of the roles I have been offered were roles I really wanted! The main question I ask myself with each role I accept is, “Is this something I want my name and face attached to for the rest of my life?” That really puts it into perspective for me and generally makes the decision fairly simple when I am offered an audition for a project.

Miranda ~ Summer of ’67 is a beautiful story of love and war. What in particular about it drew you to it and inspired you to accept a character role?

Bethany: I really liked the perspective it brought of following the women. A lot of movies that take place during wartime follow where the action is, but this one shows how the people at home are affected by the war, and I was drawn to that. Both my maternal and paternal grandfathers fought in World War II, so I can only imagine how my grandmothers felt when the ones they loved were overseas amidst all of that. I was so happy when I was offered the role of Kate, and I am still floored that Fred and Sharon chose me to tell her story.

Miranda ~ What would you say is the great take-away for viewers of Summer of ’67 movie?

Bethany: I think there are a lot of take-aways from the movie! Different people will connect with different characters and each one has their own journey. One of the great things about it is that it can appeal to lots of different people!

Miranda ~ In what way has your journey into the movie industry made your walk with God better?

Bethany: Everything in this industry is so uncertain. You audition all the time, and you book some of the time. With that kind of uncertainty, I have really learned to depend on God and trust that He has a plan for me in all of this. And if I have learned one thing in this crazy journey, it’s that His timing is perfect.

Miranda ~ What are you most grateful for right now, and about Summer of 67?

Bethany: I continue to be grateful for my husband. He was the one who convinced me to quit my full-time job and go after my dream. He has done all of my headshots for me. He films all of my auditions and usually reads for them too! I consult him when I am unsure about a role or project, and we talk things through together. He convinces me to go after roles that are a stretch for me. And he is honest when he thinks I can do better. I am so grateful for him and love him so much!

I will forever be grateful for Summer of ’67! It was my first feature film role! I never thought my first feature role would be as a lead. I am so glad Fred and Sharon entrusted me to tell Kate’s story. It also led to me becoming friends with Rachel Schrey, who plays my sister in the movie and has become like a sister to me in real life, too!

Miranda ~ What advice would you offer a person who wants to go into acting?

Bethany: This may sound bleak, but be ready for a lot of rejection. I’ve learned that a lot this year. I spend way more time auditioning than I do on set for jobs I’ve booked. But remember that auditioning IS acting! That’s part of the job. And don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone. Some of my best auditions have been when I’ve done just that!

THIS or THAT (The Fun Qs!)

Coffee, Tea or Mocha? Coffee

Dresses or Pants? Pants, though I do love a good dress!

Boots or Heels? Boots. I avoid heels whenever possible.

Gym or Outdoor? Outdoors!

Summer or Winter? Summer (the cold and I aren’t friends…)

Breakfast or Dinner? Breakfast (and how about breakfast for dinner?)

Cooking or Cleaning? Probably cooking? I’m not a huge fan of either, but I should be better at both.

Books or Music? Why are you making me pick??? Ok…books! No, music! Dang it.

Juice or Smoothie? Smoothie all the way!

Chocolate or Vanilla? It depends…I really enjoy both!

Fruit or Salad? Probably, fruit.

Scarf or Gloves? Scarves! So cute!

Blazer or Leather Jacket? Leather jacket, though blazers do look pretty sharp!

About Bethany Davenport


Bethany Davenport is an actress that is living her childhood dream. She discovered her love for acting in middle school. Due to a shy personality and her parents’ concern about the practicality of this dream, she went to college and got an education degree instead. Soon after, she married her college sweetheart. Still not being able to let go of this secret aspiration, she told her husband about her acting dream, and he suggested she go for it. Bethany enrolled in acting classes, quit her full time job, and got an agent. Within a year of making this decision, she booked her first feature film role as a lead in Summer of ’67 (Mainstreet Productions) and hasn’t looked back. Bethany has been able to participate in several films, commercials, a TV show, music videos, and industrials. She is excited to see what is in store for the future! Her husband has been her biggest support in all of this, and her parents are her biggest fans.

Trusting The Trinity With Your Destiny…Because Jesus Did, Too

TRUST THE TRINITY WITH YOUR DESTINY…BECAUSE JESUS DID, TOO! 

I believe that as a baby, Jesus wasn’t born with the knowledge that He was the Son of God. Joseph and Mary, being humble and obedient servants of God, at one point or on various occasions, likely told Jesus about the unique events that surrounded His birth—the visit of Angel Gabriel (Luke 1:38); the Spirit-inspired greeting of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, to Mary when Mary visited her (Luke 1:39-45); Joseph’s dreams (Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-15); the Star that travelled from the east and brought the magi to them in the manger (Matthew 2:1-2; 9-11); the visit of shepherds who were led to them by a choir of angels (Luke 2:8-20); the prophecies of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38); and finally, the killing of the newborns-to-two-year olds by Herod (Matthew 2:16-18). These were stories probably passed to Him from His earthly parents, but the revelation of Who He was, as God, likely came gradually over time from God Himself. This is denoted in the story of His first journey to Jerusalem as a twelve-year old when He stayed behind to talk with the teachers of the Law. Scripture records that, “[His parents] found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding (revelation) and answers” (Luke 2:46-47, paraphrase, parentheses, and emphasis mine)—understanding speaks of revelation; it is the type of wisdom that unveils mysteries or the true meanings behind mysteries, such as was given to Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon, to interpret dreams. The fullness of Jesus’s wisdom wasn’t given at once, it multiplied as His knowledge of God increased until the day in faith, He realized and acknowledged through revelation from the Holy Spirit that He was the Messiah promised by God and  spoken of by the prophets. While it was never mentioned at what point Jesus received the revelation that He wasn’t just the Son of God, but God Himself with the fullness of the Godhead in Him (Colossians 2:9), clearly, at this point, He’d started to receive the revelation in growing measures as shown in His words, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? But they did not understand the statement that He spoke to them” (Luke 2:49-50, emphasis mine). His knowledge of who He was had already surpassed what they’d supplied Him through the stories. And this wisdom and revelation continued to grow as noted in v.52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men” (emphasis mine)—wherever there is an increase, then prior to that increase was a lesser measure. Also, another part records, “And the Child grew and became strong in Spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40). In other words, it is as He grew that He became strong in Spirit and filled with wisdom because the grace of God was upon Him.

As a side note, what is most worthy of mention is, after the realization of Who He was, “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them” (v.51, emphasis mine). Why would Scripture at this point mention that “He went down with them…and was subject to them” as though for that particular scenario, it was something out of the ordinary, unbelievable or something worth noting? Is it possible that it was during this visit that Jesus first got the revelation of His “Godship”? After all, if He’d always known, then submitting to them even after Jerusalem would be nothing new…just same old, same old, right? Knowing that Scripture is never out of order, but that there is a reason for every word, as well as where it is situated (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Revelations 22:18-19), why this particular mention at this point of Jesus’s story? Otherwise, His words to His earthly parents about going about His “Father’s business” shouldn’t have sounded so strange if He’d been acknowledging God as His Father prior to that time—but this showed differently in this text, “they did not understand the statement that He spoke to them” (v.50). Instead, Scripture goes on to display that Mary was probably so surprised by that statement that, “[She] kept all these things in her heart” (v.51, paraphrased). If the above is true, then it makes sense why Scripture will go on to mention that “He went down with them…and was subject to them.” Paraphrased, it would go something like this, “even after realizing that He was God, in humility He still went down with them and submitted to them…and so grew in wisdom, stature and favor with God and with men” (emphasis to reflect the additions of the paraphrase).

So what is worthy of mention here?

His humility to submit to human parents despite the received revelation!

Back to the topic.

In light of the above, it begs the question, what in the world (or in the heavens, as the case was) would make the second person of the Godhead come down to earth like this (that is, without knowledge of Himself) with the absolute certainty that He would never miss His way, but make it back to the Father, even while being aware of the risk that in human form, He may lose His way? After all, if there was no risk, then Scripture wouldn’t have labelled what transpired in the desert after His baptism as “temptation,” for temptation denotes a desire (because of His human form) that is different from the will of God and may seduce you to go against God’s will, otherwise it wouldn’t be called temptation. This same temptation reared its ugly head when Jesus, in agony, asked that the cup be taken away from Him; “…nevertheless, not My will, but Your will be done” (Luke 22:42, emphasis mine). In other words, His will at that moment (and not His overall desire to please the Father) was different from His Father’s. But in all these things, He overcame, hence the reason Scripture records that we have a High Priest who understands our frail form, because, He, too, faced the same things that we do (Hebrews 4:15), seeing as He likely came in a form that is without knowledge of Himself so that it wouldn’t take away from the full and complete human experience of being on earth. If the above is true, then Jesus sacrificed for our salvation a whole lot more than we could possibly realize…which from this point of view, is pretty breath-taking!

Yet…

Despite the above-mentioned risk, He came. Why?

What gave the second person of the Trinity such astounding confidence that He would make it back to heaven untainted as God and absolutely victorious?

One word.

Trust!

He trusted His Father and the Holy Spirit to bring to pass His earthly destiny and deliver Him home safely. And we can do the same.
Jesus prayed frequently to the Father and was led by the Holy Spirit throughout His ministry on earth. He would obey in faith, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, what Scripture said about Him, and the Father would confirm His path by revealing Himself, as was seen when Jesus, in faith, submitted to being baptized by John the Baptist. As a sign of His obedience, the Holy Spirit was seen descending upon Jesus as a dove, and the Father said the words, “This My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased.” This was also seen when, after His baptism, the Holy Spirit led Him to the desert to be tempted—after He had fasted and prayed to the Father (Matthew 4:1). He depended on His Father for the supply of strength as seen after the temptation in the desert (Matthew 4:11), and after His prayer of agony in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:43). What this denotes is that, Jesus chose to come in a form where He couldn’t be victorious without the help of the Father and the Spirit (Philippians 5-8). Only deep trust within the community of the Trinity would inspire Jesus to believe that He could make it back. And Jesus declared this Himself when He said, “I will put My trust in Him” (Hebrews 2:13). He believed His Father’s Word concerning His destiny (Hebrews 1:8-13; Hebrews 7:20-21) so much so that He declared God’s Name and praise to men (Hebrews 2:12-13). Jesus so trusted the Word of God delivered to Him, which the Father gave Him the authority to speak, (John 12:49-50; 14:10-11; 28-31; 7:16-18; 8:42), that, He said to His followers, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away” (Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:33, emphasis mine). And He believed this because He knows the character of the Father, which is “faithful”, as expressed in Scripture, “So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but will accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11; 8-13, emphasis mine), and also, “Many are the plans that are in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that will prevail” (Proverbs 19:21). God sent Jesus to be subject to death—the enemy of life—for a moment, but promised Him victory as seen in His prophecy through David, “For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10). Jesus trusted that the Father would not let His body see decay, but that the Father would not only raise Him up from the dead, but would restore Him as God, and give Him a Name that is above any other name (John 14:13-14; Philippians 2:5-11). And God fulfilled His Word to Jesus, even granting Him victory over death for all of us too (Ephesians 1:19-22; Colossians 2:11-15; Romans 8:11; 1 Peter 1:20-21; Hebrews 2:13).

This trust was further displayed in the final moments of Jesus with His disciples when He prayed for them in their hearing, committing them into the Father’s hand, and believing with complete trust that the disciples whom the Father had given Him (except the one destined for perdition), as well as everyone else who would come to believe, would never be lost, even though He had to leave them behind, and that the Father, through the work of the Holy Spirit, would bring to fruition all the work that He’d done on the earth (John 17:1-26).

So if Jesus trusted the Trinity with His earthly destiny, why can’t we? [God] is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8, paraphrased). And He is not man that He would lie to you or change His mind about His Word given to you personally or in secret. He will make good on His Word and bring to pass all His promises to you (Numbers 23:19), and fulfill the desires He put on your heart (Psalm 37:4), so that whatever you ask in His will, He will hear you and grant it to you (1 John 5:14-15), even when it seems time has passed for that desire to be made possible, as He did for Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 21:1-7), and Zechariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John, the Baptist (Luke 1:13-14; 36-37); hear the words of Elizabeth’s prophecy to Mary, “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:45).

God knew you before you were even formed and ordained you for your destiny (Jeremiah 1:5); He has written your story in His book start to finish (Psalm 139:15-16), just as He wrote Jesus’s and enabled Him to accomplish it (Hebrews 10:5-7). Nothing about your life, as chaotic as it may seem, is random, and as long as you choose to remain in His will, despite your many plans that may distract you for a while, and even when sometimes (that is, it doesn’t apply in all scenarios) you are unfaithful or faithless, He is able to redeem you and is faithful to make sure His purpose and destiny for you don’t fail (Proverbs 19:22; Isaiah 55:11; Luke 1:18-20), because He is faithful to Himself and His Word (1 Timothy 2:13).

So, trust God’s Word today. Trust what God has told you about your destiny. Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, step by step, faith by faith, doing what He has placed right in front of you, and in faith, hope, love and trust, bear the marks of the crosswhatever that may present for you at the moment; Jesus promised that the Spirit has been given to comfort and teach you all things and tell you many things to come, including what Jesus has told Him concerning you (John 14:25-26; 16:12-15); following the Holy Spirit’s leadership is the way to stay blessed. So, yes. Trust the Trinity. They will never fail you, because, they, after all, never failed Jesus!

 

About The Editor


Miranda A. Uyeh is the founder and editor of To Be A Person (TBAP), the author of Christian Romance/Suspense fiction, To Die Once: Child of Grace #1, & a Mogul Global Ambassador. She was a one-time shortlisted judge for the Inspy Awards in 2014 in the Contemporary Romance & Romance/Suspense Category.

When Miranda isn’t reviewing books/entertainment or hosting interviews on TBAP, she’s writing, reading for fun or relaxing with a good movie! When she gets bored with the world, she talks to God about it! To learn more about her book, To Die Once, her journey as an author and her other activities, you can follow her personal website. You can also connect with her on TwitterFacebookPinterest, and Google+.

The article, Trusting The Trinity With Your Destiny…Because Jesus Did Too, first appeared on To Be A Person (TBAP).

Album Review ~ Control (Vol. 1) By Joel Vaughn

Category

Religious/Christian/Inspirational

Genre

Pop

Release Date

July 27, 2018.

Rating

4.5 Stars

Review


Timely. Deep. Sincere…are just a few words to describe Joel Vaughn’s remarkable forthcoming release, Control Vol. 1. The maturity with which Vaughn speaks his truth is inspirationally amiable and garners respect. It takes growth and humility to confess one’s truth and messy experiences in such a way that in the end, it highlights peace, gratitude, hope, and joy…and, yeah, it’s no wonder Vaughn chooses to close the album with a number titled Joy.

Every song is clearly prayerfully written, packed with powerful candor, and track arranged in a manner to speak a message of life, peace, hope, and rest that can be found only in Jesus. In the midst of this awesomeness that chronicles a peculiar season where God pulls down pride, false humility and lovingly builds this individual with the perseverance that fosters character, and adds the peace, rest, and joy that comes only from genuine faith brought forth from drilling trials, please pay attention to track #4, Back Where I Started—the song that sums it all!

There couldn’t have been a better title than Control. And, going by what volume 1 offers, the subsequent volumes appear to be something worth waiting for and to highly anticipate.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My appreciation to Lance Brown, GM, DREAM Label Group, for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About Joel Vaughn


Control Vol. 1 is the forthcoming album from Contemporary Pop Artist, Joel Vaughn.  The first of two EP releases, are the follow up to his two successful EP releases: Kinetic and Surrender.  Joel’s debut single from the album, Pray It Up, just debuted on the Billboard Christian Radio National Audience chart.  The album is best described as a fun, pop, “anthemic” album that focuses on subject matters of relationship, encouragement, and faithfulness of God.  The album also features focus tracks, On Time and Settle.

Joel teamed up with Dove Award winning writers to create the EP’s songs.  Joel Vaughn (originally from Texas) lives in Nasville, TN.

Artist Scoop ~ Interview With Music Group, God’s Chosen

God’s Chosen is a special group of charming ladies that love God and are clearly passionately about His work on earth, particularly in the ministry of music/singing. Each woman is amazingly strong in her faith in a way that inspires the other members of the group, as well as people who’ve encountered them and/or their work. The passion in their voices—individually and collectively—is contagious, entertaining and courageous! They released their wonderful album, self-titled (read the TBAP review here) today, and in celebration of that, took the time to chat a bit with TBAP, letting the world have a little peek into their lives. Take a look!


Miranda ~ Hello! So good to have you on TBAP! Please tell us a bit about God’s Chosen. Also, how did you choose the name for your group?

GC: God’s Chosen consists of three ladies (Keisha, Sarah, and Zebrina). We are women who are deeply in love with God, committed to ministry, and die-hard fans of Gospel and Christian music. The name came about quite haphazardly. It was the first name someone suggested when we asked ourselves what we should be called. We can’t even remember who mentioned it first! But over time, it has truly become our desire to be God’s Chosen.

Miranda ~ How did the three of you meet, come together, and at what moment did you agree that each of you was a good fit for God’s Chosen Group, and then decide to go professional?

GC: It all started in high school. Our choir teacher, Mrs. Wilcock, would often group students together to sing in small ensembles for winter and spring concerts. After singing as a group for different school programs, she encouraged us to enter the gospel competition at Six Flags. We couldn’t see why not, and so we entered into the competition using the name, God’s Chosen, for the very first time. After winning first place, people began to invite us to sing at different events, and so we decided to keep singing!

Miranda ~ How do you write your songs? What inspires your lyrics, and, particularly, your style of music?

Sarah for GC: We all have different processes and different inspirations, but I remember when we first became a group, Zebrina started writing first, and in helping Keisha and I, she said she always started with prayer. She told us to pray for God to create the melody and write the lyrics. That way, we’re confident that our songs glorify Him.
We’ve recently gotten into the practice of writing songs as a group, and also collaboratively writing with other singers and musicians. Some of our most powerful songs like, Even In The Valley and We’re Ready, have been birthed out of us coming together to write.

Miranda ~ There’s a heart and passion in your voices that cannot be missed and is heard in your singing. For each of you, what fuels this passion—any stories in particular?

Sarah: What fuels my passion is thinking about what a privilege it is to be given the opportunity to even access God. When you consider how it’s nearly impossible to spend time or even meet celebrities because of their prestige, it’s a wonder that the Creator of the universe is interested and wants to spend time with me! What an honor!

Zebrina: God’s love for me fuels my passion. Just thinking about how much God had to love me to choose me out of billions of people to be one who would come to know Him, I get overjoyed. It makes me want to sing.

Keisha: I’m passionately fueled by the personal relationship I have with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I’m not just singing or saved because this is what I was taught growing up. I know Him for myself. I literally experienced God heal my broken heart, deliver me from depression, and I feel His presence daily. God is real! I’m just excited to tell the world about God, so that they, too, can experience His love.

Miranda ~ You titled your debut album, God’s Chosen. Though it appears it is self-titled, does it carry more than the name of the group, in order words, the literary meaning of the words, God’s Chosen? Why this album title?

GC: Yes, God’s Chosen is definitely more than an eponymous album. After studying the Minor Prophets, we realized the Children of Israel, who are considered God’s chosen people in the Old Testament, are very similar to the body of Christ today. We have the promises of God to stand on, but we still have so many doubts, fears, and insecurities. Our prayer is that songs like Redeemed, Love Lifted Me, and Grace Is Running, will remind the listener that God is for us and we are His people—not because of our works or pedigree, but because of His undying love for us all!

Miranda ~ Coming into the world of music, what do you bring with you? What message do you hope to pass across with your lives, your voice, your career?

GC: We bring the Word of God and the good news with us into this world of music. When we write songs, we always aim to contrive lyrics that are biblically sound and based on Scripture. We all grew up in Church, going to Sunday school and Bible study regularly, so God’s Word is dwelling richly in us all. Now, with the platform of music, God is not only giving us the grace to live out His Word and His promises, but to share our experiences with others as we do so.

Miranda ~ What path led you to DREAM Records? Describe that moment when it became official.

GC: Glyne Griffith, of G. Favored Entertainment, reached out to our management team, C-Note Entertainment, and made a proposal to help us distribute our album. At that time, we had recently released our sophomore album, 1&6. We thought about repackaging 1&6, but then we started getting new songs! The timing was so divine, we knew we had to pray regarding the direction of the album. Song by song, the Lord gave us God’s Chosen—an album that bridges the gap between Christian Contemporary and Gospel music.

Miranda ~ Who have been your greatest influences—musically and generally? Why these people in particular?

GC: Oh my, we have so many influences! Namely, Israel Houghton, Travis Greene, Kari Jobe, Jenn Johnson, Anthony Evans—basically any artist that combines passion and musicality! These, in particular, though, have broken barriers between the two genres we love, and managed to do so authentically.

Miranda ~ What are you most grateful for? Speak your heart!

Zebrina: I am most grateful for God’s protection. Three weeks ago, God woke me up at 2a.m. to realize that my bedding and mattress had caught on fire due to a problem with the electrical outlet. I am so grateful that He woke me up when He did because I could have died.

Sarah and Keisha: Ditto! We’re thankful for our best friend’s life!

Miranda ~ What message of hope, wisdom, and encouragement would you offer to a group of young women looking to come together as you have and sing professionally?

GC: The message of hope we’d give, is to just do it. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity or the perfect time. Create a bond of trust among your group members, seek God, and sing! Doors will open. People will be blessed. And just as Scripture says, if you’re faithful over a few things, He’ll make you ruler over many.

This or That (The Fun Qs!)

Coffee or Tea?
Keisha: Tea
Zebrina: Definitely, tea.
Sarah: Herbal Tea!

Gym or Outdoor?
Keisha: Gym
Zebrina: Gym
Sarah: Outdoors

Heels or Boots?
Keisha: Heels
Zebrina: Tennis shoes
Sarah: Boots

Running or Walking?
Keisha: Walking
Zebrina: Walking
Sarah: Walking

Cereal or Fruit?
Keisha: Fruit
Zebrina: Fruit
Sarah: Fruit

Movies or Books?
Keisha: Movies
Zebrina: Movies
Sarah: Movies

Cleaning or Cooking?
Kiesha: Cooking
Zebrina: COOKING
Sarah: Cleaning

Summer or Spring?
Keisha: Spring
Zebrina: Spring
Sarah: Spring

Rain or Snow?
Keisha: Rain
Zebrina: Snow
Sarah: Snow

Blazer or Leather Jacket?
Keisha: Leather Jacket
Zebrina: Leather Jacket
Sarah: Blazer

Thank you for Sarah, Keisha, and Zebrina, for stopping by today!

About God’s Chosen


“Our self-titled album successfully intertwines the impassioned worship of Christian Contemporary music with the grit of Gospel music. Influenced by artists like Kari Jobe, Hillsong United, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Lauren Daigle, Jenn Johnson, Israel Houghton, and Travis Greene, this album is filled with worship anthems and singable praise songs catering to both churches and individuals. We hope to bridge the gap between genres and provide a worship experience that truly reflects the fullness of God’s Kingdom.”

Book Review ~ Where Trains Collide By Amber Holcomb (Stokes)

About The Book


Inspirational Contemporary Romance Novella

Two hearts racing in different directions will meet where trains collide.

Burned out and disillusioned with her chosen career path, Trisha Knolane gives in to impulse and hops on a train bound for Oregon, eager to escape the stress of college for a few days. But what begins as a fun little adventure takes an unexpected turn when she discovers that her ex-boyfriend is also on board.

All her hopes and dreams had once centered on Paul Benson. Now, when Trisha doesn’t know where her current track will lead, Paul’s reappearance in her life only complicates matters and sparks difficult questions.

Questions that could change the course of her life.

A heartfelt and thought-provoking contemporary romance novella, Where Trains Collide faces the uncertain season of new adulthood head on and shows that sometimes a path of broken dreams can lead to life’s best destination.


Category

Christian/Fiction/Novella

Genre

New Adult/Contemporary Romance

Rating

4 Stars

Review


Trisha Knolane has her whole life ahead of her, but after a painful breakup with Paul “Paul Bunyan” Benson, the love of her life, the future seems like shaky ground, and the built-up frustration that follows from school work leads to a journey where in the calming presence of God, friends, and family, Trisha learns to lean on the faithful peace of God that is ever present, ever guarding, and ever guiding to those who seek His face—even while dealing with the re-entry of Paul into her life. A train ride, road trip, and awesome weekend later, it is clear that God is in control and Trisha is ready to face the world again and handle Paul being close—in fact, God clearly had a hand in their trains colliding, and both were blessed because of it!

This is a story of hope for where the road ahead is unclear—one that inspires faith in God’s leading and timing, and teaches love and forgiveness toward those He has placed in our path.

*Though I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My deepest gratitude to the author, Amber Holcomb (Stokes), for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

About Amber Holcomb (Stokes)


Amber Holcomb (Stokes) is an indie author and freelance editor living below the majestic mountains of Montana with her adventurous husband. Previously, she worked in marketing for a Christian publisher for nearly three years. Her passion for books compelled her to earn a bachelor’s degree in English and now fuels her work with words in this new season of life.

You can learn more about Amber’s books, sign up for her author newsletter, join the Amber’s Gems street team, and more at www.SeasonsofaStory.blogspot.com.

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Song (Single) Review ~ The Breakup Song By Francesca Battistelli

Category

Religious/Christian/Inspirational

Genre

Alternative/Rock

Release Date

June 15, 2018.

Rating

5 Stars

Review


A song about identity and boldness in Jesus that produces the confidence to shine for Him, live for God, and tell the world the truth about the salvation that is available for all.

This is a song with heart and strength.

About Francesca Battistelli


Francesca Battistelli is a Dove and Grammy Award winning Christian pop artist who began her music career at a young age. She took acting classes and dance lessons that helped earn her a spot in the Orlando-based teen pop group, Bella, at the age of fifteen. After the group disbanded, she attended a youth ministry where her interest in Christian pop music piqued and grew, also learning to play the guitar to help with her own songwriting.

She released her first album, Just a Breath, an independent, in 2004. And then in 2008, through Fervent Records, released the EP, I’m Letting Go, and then later that year, a full-length, My Paper Heart, as a Billboard Top 40, as well as several hits on Christian radio. In 2011, Hundred More Years album garnered more success, debuting at number 16 on the Billboard charts.