Sight & Sound


BOOKS

The Worship Warrior
By Chuck D. Pierce with John Dickson,
Regal Books, 282 pages, paperback, $14.99.

Highly regarded missionary leader and prophetic voice Chuck D. Pierce provides a strategic guide for finding God's deliverance in troubled times. He commands us to worship as warriors through praise and intercession. In this way, we continually break through to the mountaintop where we are fitted to minister boldly in the valley.

The Worship Warrior stirs us to battle with biblical and contemporary accounts of those storming the heavenlies, especially through corporate worship and intercession, until prophetic revelation and gifts reveal God's power to give the victory over Satan's world system. As Pierce writes: "[God] longs to touch the government, the economic system and the school system. His heart wants to save the unborn child. All of this entails war. We worship so we might go to war with Him."

Practical advice also abounds on how to prepare for worship warfare. Pierce guides us, for example, on girding our faith and sounding forth in praise. Laypeople and worship leaders alike will be strengthened in their callings.

The Worship Warrior draws the plans as to how we overcome as the body of Christ, becoming "something beyond what we are as individuals when we assemble."

This book is not for the casual reader or for the casual worshiper. Sunday lunch precisely at noon or the Sunday afternoon ballgame themselves will not escape defeat when, led by the Spirit, we advance into the presence of God Almighty and Jesus the Lord, Who will then arm us to fight the good fight of faith--and win--here below.
Pamela Robinson

One Holy Fire
by Nicky Cruz with Frank Martin,
WaterBrook Press, 240 pages, paperback, $13.99.

It has been eight years since Nicky Cruz wrote a new book, but now the author of the Christian classic Run Baby Run has broken his silence because he feels he has a new message. He urges readers to let the Spirit ignite their souls, as he has learned to do.

As a result of fatigue and discouragement, it took a while for Cruz to "get" what God wanted to tell him. He describes a visit from what he believes was an angelic figure to help get him back on track, refocusing his ministry back to the streets, helping the lost.

Cruz shares stories of healing in his ministry, of masses coming to salvation and of spiritual warfare. He also explores the promises in Scripture about the Spirit's work on earth.

Not afraid to call it like he sees it, Cruz takes some in the Christian industry to task for greed and the church for its disunity. However, his is not a condemning tone but an exhortation to reprioritize. Most inspiring is the heart of this "missionary to the inner cities" for the lost that few want to reach out and help.
Christine D. Johnson

Know Fear
By Ed Young Jr., Broadman & Holman,
248 pages, hardcover, $19.99.

We're living in scary, isolating times and Ed Young Jr. is all over them in his new book Know Fear: Facing Life's Six Most Common Phobias. Pastor of the large Fellowship Church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Young addresses the worries that most of us are accustomed to living with every day: the future, failure, loneliness, death, commitment, God. These fears can be replaced with peace when we're reminded of the bigger picture--the biblical picture.

In contrast to being swept along in the current of mass thinking, Young promotes a plan: Confront your fears and see how God provides and offers hope. Remind yourself that He can be trusted. Take action. "It is easier for God to guide us when we are moving than when we are dead weight," he writes.

Have only one fear--of God. Young calls this "Christianity in the Raw." He says, "Fear and love are the balanced equation of God's unchanging character." Otherwise, "... you do not have an accurate or healthy image of God."

Why is there evil in the world? Free will. How do you free yourself from worries? Believe God has your best interests in mind.

The one fear Young doesn't address enough is worry about finances. But that's probably a book in itself.

Whether or not you're a worrier, reading Young's book is like sitting around the table swapping stories with a friendly neighbor.
Marsha Gallardo

MUSIC

Byron Cage
By Byron Cage,
GospoCentric Records.

It's been a little more than six years since Byron Cage taught congregations around the world to sing "Shabach" and "Yet Praise Him," which have become praise and worship staples in some circles. Now back on the scene, Cage is again showing the body of Christ how praise and worship is done with his self-titled solo release.

Worship leader at Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church in Fort Washington, Maryland, Cage combines a fluid blend of energetic praise with passionate worship. "Majesty" will get listeners' blood pumping, as Cage declares: "He is so worthy of all of the praise. Oh come magnify Him. Jesus is His name."

Recorded live at New Birth Cathedral in Atlanta, where Cage was once worship leader, the release continues with the upbeat "The Presence of the Lord Is Here," written by Kurt Carr, who also produced the disc. The release also includes a medley of Cage's best-known songs, including "Shabach" and "Yet Praise Him."

The worship cuts are no less intense, particularly on "It Is to You," written by Donnie McClurkin, and "Glory to Your Name." "Thou Art a Shield" is a standout, as much for its musical excellence as for its passionate worship.

Byron Cage captures the heart of praise and worship, and wraps it in bold, soulful packaging. These songs could easily be used for congregational worship, private time with God or just to whirl in the CD player.
Adrienne S. Gaines

By His Grace
By Maurette Brown Clark, Atlanta
International Records.

Maurette Brown Clark burst onto the gospel music scene a few years ago as a featured soloist with Richard Smallwood and Vision. Then, after answering the call to start her own ministry, she blessed the gospel community with her debut CD, How I Feel. The critically acclaimed project garnered her a Stellar Award. She has just released her sophomore follow-up (an AIR Gospel debut) titled By His Grace.

The 15-track CD starts off with the groovy, R&B-flavored title cut. "Even in the Rain," arguably the best song on this project, is an inviting tune wrapped in a smooth jazz sound.

The track highlights her songwriting abilities, as well as Clark's improvisational vocals. Her ability to ad-lib convinces the listener that her goal goes far beyond just singing pretty melodies. You can truly sense her heart for God throughout.

"One Prayer Away," written by Clark in response to September 11, reminds us that the Lord is always just one prayer away. Other jewels on this project are the Kevin Bond-penned song "You've Been Good to Me" and the reverent and worshipful "King of Kings." Clark also covers The Winans' hit "Restoration." Bringing this classic into the millennium, she adds a little funk and some hip-hop. "Lean on You," a duet with Dottie Jones of the Richard Smallwood Singers, is a moving testimony written by well-known producer and songwriter Steven Ford.

She also includes the uplifting praise-team anthem "Just Want to Praise You." "Calvary," a beautifully melodic song, is breathtaking in its simplicity with just her beautiful voice and piano.

By His Grace is a wonderful collage of songs of encouragement, hope and, of course, grace.
Andrea R. Williams

Cry Holy
By Sonicflood, Word.

Sonicflood may not have created the praise and worship movement, but this innovative band has been undoubtedly on the vanguard of it, amply demonstrating the viability of the genre with their groundbreaking, gold-selling debut project. After weathering new band members and a label change, the group still remains true to their original sound and passionate vision.

Cry Holy continues in the footsteps of last year's Resonate. It sports a slightly more polished veneer but is as gritty underneath as their earlier projects. Alternating among guitar-driven rock anthems such as "Satisfied" and mellow, acoustic-based worship favorites such as "I Will Exalt the One" and beautiful new hymns such as "Love of My Life," this album reveals a band that is comfortable with itself and yet is still growing musically and spiritually.
Natalie Nichols Gillespie

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

Free to Be Loved

Betty Robison, the cheerful wife of James Robison and co-host of their TV show LIFE Today, has been fearful and insecure all her life and tells it plainly in Free to Be Me (Tyndale House).

"It was a battle that was within," Betty says. Busy in church, she was driven to prove herself worthy, but she was "still plain, ordinary Betty--the middle, invisible, inadequate child who grew up feeling like she never measured up."

Her transformation was, at first, gradual. Falling in love, witnessing James' conversion and evangelistic call, marrying into his love and encouragement, and raising children gave her new confidences. It was when James hit a frightening, suicidal low, but then experienced a spiritual release that changed him into a more compassionate, joyful man that Betty came to her turning point.

She cried to God for help. "The mental block I'd always felt when I read God's Word disappeared." She and James related on a new level; she began traveling with him, dared to do new things and even, before a TV audience, I "danced, as much at ease as if worshiping in the privacy of our living room."

"I'd had a misconception about God's love," she says. "I'd believed He had favorites." Like she's experienced as a mother and grandmother: "God is always adding to his family, and yet He has enough love to go around. At the same time, He makes each of us feel like His only child."
Marsha Gallardo

CHARISMA RECOMMENDS

Journey to Significance
By Tony Miller, Charisma House,
216 pages, paperback, $12.99.

Author Tony Miller says God does not want to keep His promises hidden from us. No matter what our circumstances, He wants to move us into a realm of spiritual authority and anointing. Miller uses the life of David to encourage all believers to face their giants--and to learn to reign as true overcomers.

Faith Lift
By Babbie Mason, Charisma House,
240 pages, paperback, $13.99.

Women are sometimes plagued by fear, unable to experience the abundant life Christ longs for us to have. There is freedom from the torment that can keep women from walking in faith. Babbie Mason shows how know-ing and understanding the truth of God's Word is the foundation for destroying the self-doubt that plagues so many. Women can break free from the crippling bondage of fear and walk in true faith.

Healing Through Humor
By Charles and Frances Hunter,
Creation House Press, 192 pages,
paperback, $12.99.

The Bible says a cheerful heart does good like a medicine. Charles and Frances Hunter know that humor strengthens the immune system. Known as the Happy Hunters, they are said to be the most anointed and energetic evangelists on Earth. This couple draws from two lifetimes of ministry experience to offer a large dose of cheerful "medicine" with their compilation of jokes, mind twisters and anecdotes.

Single Not Separate
By Virginia McInerney,
Charisma House, 232 pages,
paperback, $12.99.

Almost 50 percent of adults in the United States are single. Yet, in the church many singles feel isolated, unimportant and overlooked. Virginia McInerney believes it is vital to close the gap between singles and couples. McInerney explains how to validate and minister to this growing group of individuals.

La batalla es del Señor
(The Battle Belongs to the Lord)

By Joyce Meyer, Casa Creación,
224 pages, paperback, $9.99

Casa Creación is one of the top five Spanish Christian publishers. The Spanish imprint of Strang Communications, Casa Creación has worldwide distribution. La batalla es del Señor is the 10th Joyce Meyer title Casa Creación has published. In it, Meyer teaches that a life of constant fear and worry is not the abundant life Jesus wants for us. Allow Him to fight your battles, and you will experience a new freedom. Jesus is the ultimate warrior--He always wins!

CHARISMATIC TOP SELLERS

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

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

3. The Three Battlegrounds
Francis Frangipane (Arrow Publications)

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

5. God's Creative Power for Healing
Charles Capps (Harrison House)

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

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

8. No More Sheets
Juanita Bynum (Pneuma Life Publishing)

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

10. The Final Quest
Rick Joyner (Whitaker House)

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