Sight and Sound


BOOKS

The Ten Offenses
By Pat Robertson, Integrity,
Hardcover, 240 pages, $18.99.

Sadly, this book has little chance of widespread use in the arena where it is needed most: America's public schools. However, although few outside Christendom are likely to pick up this book (except to mock it), one can argue that churches need The Ten Offenses: Reclaim the Blessing of the Ten Commandments as a refresher course.

Robertson's book is a practical guide to the positive aspects of following God's law--and the consequences of disobeying it. Not only is this material excellent for Christian schools and home schoolers, but it also provides fertile ground for small-group discussions.

Especially useful is the appendix, which includes preambles to all 50 state constitutions, all of which honor God in some way. The strongest call to Christians to correct their ignorance of the law appears in the epilogue, where Robertson notes: "If we live the commandments of God, then our lives will prove a far more effective testimony than any stone tablet, no matter where it is situated."
Ken Walker

High Calling
By Evelyn Husband with Donna
VanLiere, Thomas Nelson, hardcover,
233 pages, $24.99.

On February 1, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated in Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crewmembers on their return from a 16-day space mission. Evelyn Husband, wife of Columbia Commander Rick Husband, writes a poignant account of the courageous life and faith of her spouse of 20 years.

Her testimony is supported with accounts about Rick Husband's character from his acquaintances and friends. He was a Christian after God's own heart: kind, compassionate, selfless, honest--no matter the personal cost.

Rick Husband's faith makes High Calling so much more than a wife's tribute to her husband. It comforts us with an awareness that Christ and His people ultimately triumph over death. Evelyn Husband and her children, Laura and Matthew, are not left behind.

Their own faith moves them ahead in preparation for Christ's kingdom. They witness to the value and sanctity of lives boldly lived in Christ here and now.

As was Lisa Beamer's account of the courageous life and faith of her husband, 9/11 hero Todd Beamer, High Calling is an excellent example of the new genre of survivalist literature. In the chaos of a world on the verge of a terroristic holocaust, our nation needs to look to its Christian heroes for strength and direction. You will cry with joy along with Evelyn Husband as she shouts in closing her book: "All is well. Hallelujah!"
Pamela Robinson

Throne Room
By CeCe Winans with Claire Cloninger,
Integrity, hardcover, 144 pages, $16.99.

CeCe Winans, a favorite among traditional gospel and contemporary Christian music fans alike, recently released her praise and worship follow-up CD, Throne Room. This is a collection of songs to help listeners bask in God's presence.

In her book by the same name, Winans continues the theme of worship by opening up and allowing us to delve into her personal worship experiences. She teaches Christians in a simple yet informative way how to worship.

Winans provides two keys to worship and describes the life changes that result from stepping into the secret place. The many cited Scriptures about praise and worship will enlighten the reader about the power and the blessings of entering the throne room of God.

She also speaks about worship and its power in spiritual warfare and why it should be a part of every Christian's daily routine. Personal examples, such as her brother Ronald's revival from death, 9/11 and memories from her youth of her father's worship practices, reveal Winans' warmth and transparency.

Throne Room also provides the background and the inspiration of each song on the CD. The book closes with reflective questions to help readers examine their own personal worship routines. Throne Room is a wonderful book for those who yearn to have a more intimate relationship with the Lord.
René Williams

The Glorious Disturbance
By Ernest B. Gentile, Chosen Books,
Softcover, 285 pages, $14.99.

Author Ernest B. Gentile makes a solid case for what he calls the "Peter Pattern" in his newest book, The Glorious Disturbance. Taken from Peter's first sermon of Pentecost (see Acts 2:38-39), the Peter Pattern is the sequence of conversion, water baptism and Spirit baptism accompanied with speaking in tongues. The pattern appears normative in the early church and the author maintains that it is the birthright of all Christians today.

The Glorious Disturbance seems to be written particularly for those who want a thorough theological basis for accepting Gentile's belief as normative today and for those who may have been prejudiced against speaking in tongues by current doctrines and traditions. Gentile addresses the role of the Holy Spirit as recorded in the book of Acts.

The author approaches the subject in a thoughtful, scholarly manner with interesting side notes and charts, making his book more comprehensive than a basic how-to-be-filled booklet. Gentile gives us an understanding of worship in early Jewish tabernacles and how the church was born out of this.

He methodically discusses every form of baptism and how they correspond with one another. He also accurately examines many of the main denominations of Christianity and how they have traditionally defined the experience of Spirit baptism. This book is a great resource for anyone who teaches on the baptism of the Holy Spirit as well as those doing personal research.
Deborah L. Delk

MUSIC

Abandon
By Jason Morant, Integrity Music.

Jason Morant is a new talent to watch for on the modern worship scene. The melodic, haunting intensity with which he worships draws listeners in and pierces their souls on debut album Abandon.

Citing influences that range from Keith Green to U2, Morant creates piano- and guitar-infused modern-rock melodies. The strength of this album is that Morant never tries to straddle the fence of both artist and worshiper. He simply praises the Lord, and his songs stick right in the heart.

The 12 songs are packed with straight-forward titles and lyrics such as "Bless the Lord," which states: "I left my heart in worship/Taken by the truth/That You are God" or the catchy, guitar-backed "Great Is the Lord" that says: "Forever I'll say/Great is the Lord/Great is the Lord/You're the one who set me free/You're the king who rescued me."

This stunning album is consistently good throughout, but standouts include Morant's take on the classic praise song "I Love You Lord" (indeed a "sweet, sweet sound") and the piercing "Sing Over Me."
Natalie Nichols Gillespie

7 Sons of Soul
By 7 Sons of Soul, Verity Records.

Washington, D.C., is home to a number of gospel greats including Richard Smallwood, Byron Cage, William Becton, Maurette Brown Clark, Stephen Hurd and Patrick Lundy.

The 7 Sons of Soul have recently added their name to this burgeoning list. The group consists of six members--Cliff Jones, David Lindsey, Deonte Gray, Sam Kendrick, Nathaniel Fields and Paul Edwards, with Jesus Christ being the seventh nonsinging member of the group.

Their self-titled debut includes a number of traditional, almost quartet-sounding songs including the popular "Run On," "Show Me The Way," a song dedicated to the late Willie Neal Johnson of the Gospel Keynotes, and a beautiful harmonizing rendition of "Amazing Grace." Not to be pigeonholed, the group also showcases an urban vibe on the laid-back "He's So Real" featuring R&B crooner Raheem Devaughn and the hip-hop-flavored tunes "Job" and "Need You."

"He's Coming Back" and "Prayer Changes Things," both with a down-home feel and driving rhythm, find the group reaching back to the roots of gospel. Gospel's current premiere artist, songwriter and producer Fred Hammond, as well as Pam Kenyon Donald, make guest appearances on a tasteful remake of The Hawkins Family classic "What Is This."

Most new groups do contemporary gospel well; few are able to transition so easily from the traditional to the ultracontemporary as the 7 Sons of Soul are. I'm sure we'll be hearing more from these young men.
René Williams

VIDEO

Bells of Innocence
Good Times Entertainment.

Starring Chuck Norris, Bells of Innocence is a "faith-based" thriller in which belief in God determines the outcome of a battle between heaven and hell.

The plot involves Jux (Mike Norris, Chuck's oldest son and the film's executive producer), Conrad (David White) and Oren (Carey Scott), who are on a mission trip bound for Mexico when their plane loses power and crashes in the Texas desert.

The friends end up in Ceres, a town that doesn't exist on any map and whose residents wander aimlessly. The only communication to the outside world is a short-wave radio, belonging to Matthew (Norris), a mysterious rancher who lives on the outskirts of town.

Joshua (Marshall Teague) controls the town and plots to fulfill an ancient prophecy of sacrifice and destruction. The visitors realize that the only way to leave is to become "agents of redemption."

Bells of Innocence is spooky and engaging but is not recommended for young children because of its occult theme, scary scenes and violence.
Eric Tiansay

MUSIC SPOTLIGHT

Munizzi Goes to a New Level

Munizzi grew up singing Southern gospel. Now, as a thirtysomething independent artist, she's singing in a black gospel style and loving it.

Munizzi, a wife and mother, recorded her latest CD, The Best Is Yet to Come, at Lakewood Church in Houston. She wasn't sure how the crowd would like her brand-new songs, but the experience turned out to be "so incredible," she says. "It felt like we stepped into something way beyond ourselves."

This album has taken her ministry (www.marthamunizzi.com) to new levels and brought her songs to the forefront of the music industry. Karen Clark-Sheard, Vicki Yohe and Ron Kenoly have recorded her songs. Kenoly says: "Martha leads worship with power, excitement and authority. Her sensitivity in worship helps you to know that she has spent much time in personal prayer and devotion."

Munizzi also likes to talk about topics beyond music. Molested as a child, she used to bite her nails because she had a spirit of anxiety.

God has since healed her. And despite her parents' divorce, she sees how her own marriage can be stronger. Munizzi does not dwell on her past.

"If I wrote a book, the molestation would be a chapter, not the whole book," she says. "I've talked to others ... who have had far worse experiences than I did. My childhood, for the most part, was happy. ... These days, if I am led to share my painful past experiences with people, I love to say: 'Look what God has done. He has been faithful.'"
Mark Weber

CHARISMATIC TOP SELLERS

1. Pigs in the Parlor
Frank and Ida Mae Hammond
(Impact Christian Books)

2. Total Forgiveness
R.T. Kendall (Charisma House)

3. A Divine Revelation of Hell
Mary K. Baxter (Whitaker House)

4. The Final Quest
Rick Joyner (Whitaker House)

5. The Three Battlegrounds
Francis Frangipane (Arrow Publications)

6. Matters of the Heart
Juanita Bynum (Charisma House)

7. A Divine Revelation of Heaven
Mary K. Baxter with T.L. Lowery (Whitaker House)

8. Within the Gates
Rebecca R. Springer (Christ for the Nations)

9. The Torch & The Sword
Rick Joyner (Destiny Image)

10. The Battle Belongs to the Lord
Joyce Meyer (Warner Faith)

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