Sight and Sound


BOOKS

Frontline Christians in a Bottom-Line World
By Linda Rios Brook, Destiny Image,
208 pages, softcover, $13.99.

With insightful, engaging and often amusing observations, former TV executive Linda Rios Brook sounds a warning to the traditional church: learn to utilize the gifts of businesspersons or they will soon depart.

A member of Peter Wagner's International Coalition of Apostles, Brook also devotes considerable space to Bible exposition, applying various passages to a business context. Although taking traditionalists to task for antiquated methods of "doing church" that ignore taking the gospel into the world, the author is an equal- opportunity critic. Chronicling the business world's horribly flawed ethics, she calls on marketplace Christians to take some heat for making tough choices.

The bottom line of Frontline Christians: both camps need each other. As Brook puts it, the redemption of the business world calls for marketplace and traditional church apostles. If enough Christians heed Brook's call, they will be able to cooperate instead of fighting with each other.
Ken Walker

Books of Destiny
By Paul Keith Davis, Streams Publishing House,
softcover, 193 pages, $13.

There was a time when ministers held "Come to Jesus" revivals. The "kingdom" was utmost and people literally "saw the light." In Paul Keith Davis' Books of Destiny: Secrets of God Revealed, we find that God's plan in expanding His kingdom includes periodically releasing throne-room wisdom to those who are given glimpses of the next genuine movement and their roles in it.

Davis sparks a belief in the reader that "the greater than these" generation is still to be awakened. A reading of this volume will convince the faithful of all denominations that the fulfillment of the word of the Lord "to make them one" is on the horizon (He's not returning to a disjointed bride). Indeed, every "Son-rise" in church history involves individuals who are called to break through the darkness of the existing generation, not with enticing words of man, but with the power of the Holy Spirit.
J. James Estrada

Riches Beyond Measure
By Michael Blackwell with Ken Walker,
Creation House Press, softcover, 86 pages, $9.99.

In Riches Beyond Measure: Creating a Life Worth Living Michael Blackwell outlines 12 keys to an abundant life.

President of the Baptist Children's Home of North Carolina since 1983, Blackwell is committed to helping and healing others. His compassion translates well into this book as he offers simple yet rewarding truths.

The 12 steps include accept yourself, be a friend, love abundantly, do good deeds, receive life and embrace the future. Step 2: Seek Help is particularly interesting because in many circles getting professional counseling seems to be taboo. But Blackwell explains that sometimes the key to reaching the next level in any stage of life is seeking outside resources.

Though there is not a direct correlation made between these concepts and Jesus' life, many readers will consider His life as the ultimate example. If younger readers would implement the principles that many adults only wish they knew when they were younger, they would have a jumpstart on a great life.

For others, the writing is refreshing with numerous stories and examples, communicated without condemnation. The author is simply hoping to inspire people to change their outlook--and their lives.
Leigh DeVore

MUSIC

The J Moss Project
By J Moss, GospoCentric/Jive Records.

J Moss has been one of gospel and mainstream music's most sought-after producers for years. He is a relative of the late gospel legend Mattie Moss Clark and the Clark Sisters, and one-third of the dynamic production team PAJAM--consisting of Paul D. "PDA" Allen, Walter Kearney and James Moss. The group is responsible for making hits for some of the top names in music, including Karen Clark-Sheard, Hezekiah Walker, 'NSync, Kelly Price, Patti LaBelle and Jennifer Lopez, just to name a few.

Releasing his debut project, The J Moss Project, Moss stuns the gospel community with his tight tenor vocals on this perfectly produced collection of songs. Moss introduces himself with the danceable track "I Wanna Be." "Don't Pray & Worry" is a fast-moving, inspirational jam. The pretty ballad "We Must Praise" showcases Moss' impressive chops. He ends the song a cappella, closing in a mode of worship.

"You Brought Me" is another body-moving track about God's ability to deliver. Also included on this album is the reality-based track "Livin' 4," the infectious song "Don't Let" and the bumpin' groove-laden offering "Psalm 150," reminiscent of Trin-i-tee 5:7's "Holla." "Me Again," penned by Moss (the principal songwriter), is a plea to the Lord for forgiveness and a very poignant track. "Work Your Faith," a bonus track, finds Moss encouraging people to hold on to their faith.

Moss brings a contemporary flair and a wonderful voice to gospel music.
René Williams

Made For Worship
By Joel Engle, Doxology Records (Word).

After 10 years as an independent artist, including touring stints with youth speaker Dawson McAllister and playing at various youth camps, Joel Engle releases his major-label debut on Doxology Records titled Made for Worship. The disc features 11 original tracks, all penned by Engle, centering on themes of worship and family.

Highlights include the pop-rock sounds of "Louder Than the Angels," "I Bow Down" and "Wonder of Your Love." "Living Sacrifice" is a rousing rock song of dedication, much like the anthem "We Need You." There are also tender moments on "Shadow of Your Cross" and "I Will See You Again," which offers an eternal promise for a departed loved one. On "Be a Father to Her," Engle asks for divine intervention in the life of his daughter. Similarly, he shows his thankfulness for his own life in the autobiographical "The Father I Never Had": "You're the father I never had / Just hold me in Your arms and heal me of the past."

Engle displays a talent for writing emotive tunes as well as a versatile vocal range. Made for Worship should be a welcome listen for those looking for memorable pop tunes.
DeWayne Hamby

I Speak Life
By Donald Lawrence, QuietWater
Entertainment/Verity Records.

Donald Lawrence has positioned himself as one of gospel music's most versatile and gifted artists. A producer, songwriter and recording artist, he's responsible for some of the best songs to hit radio including (with the Tri-City Singers) songs such as "Never Seen the Righteous," "Seasons" (with Bishop Walter Hawkins), "The Best Is Yet to Come," and "When Sunday Comes" (recorded by Daryl Coley). Now with his new label, Quiet- Water Entertainment, he introduces I Speak Life.

Divided into five sections, Contemporary Gospel, Inspirational, Praise & Worship, Prophetic and Final Thoughts, the release opens with the festive and exciting tune "Healed." The title cut is a duet with famed gospel crooner Donnie McClurkin and includes exhortations to "speak life" over challenging situations. Hezekiah Walker joins Lawrence on the celebratory track "You Covered Me," and Vanessa Bell Armstrong shares the mic on the smooth jazz cut "Miracles."

Lawrence has us stepping (in Chi-town style) with R&B singer Carl Thomas on the groove-laden "Angels." Lalah Hathaway, daughter of the late singer Donny Hathaway, and jazz great Ramsey Lewis join Lawrence on the easy listening, smoothly provocative "Don't Forget to Remember." "Say a Prayer," with mainstream songstress Faith Evans, is a powerful track as is the breathtakingly beautiful "Lamb," featuring piano work from Richard Smallwood. "Coming Strong," a laid-back, rhythmic cut and a bold declaration of God's deliverance, gives us a nice slice of funk. "Beautiful Feet," taken from Romans 10:15, is a pretty, fully orchestrated song and a sweet closing to a strong project.
René Williams

VIDEO

A Fight for Faith
Pamplin Entertainment.

The Wacky Professor is up to his old fiendish tricks in the 16th episode of the Bibleman Adventure Series, but he finds himself matched against a new Bibleman.

The Fight for Faith is the first adventure since the departure of the original Bibleman, Willie Aames, who toured the country the last eight years putting biff, bam and pow into Bible-verse memorization. The episode introduces Josh Carpenter (Robert T Schlipp) as Bibleman.

The new Bibleman is faced with foiling Wacky Professor's (Jef Scott) plot to create a dimension where there are no Christians, no churches and no God. Bibleman, with the help of his familiar sidekicks Cypher (Brady Williams) and Biblegirl (Heather McSmith), hurries to rescue two young vacation Bible school leaders from a colorful animated world absent of God.

For the first time in a Bibleman episode, Bibleman invites young viewers to accept Jesus and to pray the salvation prayer along with the Bibleman team at the end of the adventure. In addition, the Bibleman Adventure Series is launching a new "Daily Bibleman" program now available through daily e-mail video clips from Bibleman. More information is available at www.bibleman.com.
Gail Wood

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

A Modern-Day Abolitionist

In his book The New Slavemasters, Bishop George D. McKinney boldly speaks about the issues that plague the African American community--materialism, rage and instant gratification, among a well-known list of others.

The "new slavemasters" concept came to him two years ago during a sermon at his church, St. Stephen's Cathedral Church of God in Christ in San Diego. "The term just rolled off my tongue--a [truly divine] inspiration," he said.

Born in 1932, McKinney remembers going to segregated Arkansas schools with no libraries. "They were still lynching black people," he said. His Pentecostal parents taught him to rise up from the racially unjust environment through a relationship with Jesus Christ and a good education.

Fueled by the desire to see a corporate deliverance for the African American community, McKinney founded St. Stephen's Ministerial Alliance. This coalition of 20 churches opens their doors to 30,000 of San Diego's inner-city youth every day after school. Volunteers teach math, reading, social skills, music and chess.

"Twenty-two schools are failing 85 percent of their students," McKinney said. "It seemed that there was no solution. But we have joined together to derail the train that is driving these young people to jail, drug pushing and drug addiction."

Early last year, McKinney's wife of 47 years, Jean Brown, died of cancer. But this so-called modern-day abolitionist presses on to make a difference.
Jevon Oakman Bolden

Charismatic Top Sellers

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

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

3. The Three Battlegrounds
Francis Frangipane (Arrow Publications)

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

5. A Divine Revelation of Heaven
Mary K. Baxter (Whitaker House)

6. My Spiritual Inheritance
Juanita Bynum (Charisma House)

7. The Tongue: A Creative Force
Charles Capps (Harrison House)

8. The Final Quest
Rick Joyner (Whitaker House)

9. Prison to Praise
Merlin R. Carothers (Merlin R. Carothers)

10. The Torch and The Sword
Rick Joyner (Morningstar Publications)

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