Top Albums of 2014

I cannot believe how amazing this year has been for music. There has been so many good albums that I’m going to list fifteen of my favourites leading up to my album of the year. I’ll list the albums from great to just outright mind-blowing. To save this post from becoming incredibly large, I’ll only include a brief description of each album. I’ll note that this is going to be a pretty diverse list.

15. Sanctus Real: The Dream

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Sanctus Real is one of the best CCM bands out there, and the Dream is a fine testament of that. Filled with catchy, uplifting and worshipful pop/rock songs, the Dream is one of the best CCM albums of the year.

14. Mike Mains and the Branches: Calm Down, Everything is Fine

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Mike Mains….. sophomore album is a brilliant collection of pop/rock songs mixed in with Mike’s harsh screaming vocals. It’s definitely a different style, and that’s why I love these guys. It’s a little darker and a more mellow album than their debut, Home, but that only makes it that much better. I highly recommend this album!

13. David Crowder: Neon Steeple

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Crowder is a legend of the worship genre, and this album easily proves why. It took me awhile to “get” this album, but that’s only because, again, it’s so different. Labeled by Crowder himself as “Folktronica” it’s certainly an adventurous listen, and for that, Neon Steeple ranks as one of the top worship albums of this year!

12. All Sons and Daughters: Self Titled

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Though Neon is one of the best worship albums, it does have this to contend with. All Sons and Daughter’s Self Titled full length album is a truly beautiful blend of gentle folk and acoustic sounds. It only beat Neon Steeple because, as a whole, it feels a bit more cohesive and tight, but the songs are equally just as good. If you’re a fan of worship music that doesn’t rely on loud music or a stadium of thousands, this comes highly recommended.

11. Thousand Foot Krutch: Oxygen:Inhale

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If there’s one album that wasn’t too well received by critics this year, it would be TFK’s new album, Oxygen:Inhale. A softer, more mellow album than what TFK fans (including myself) are used to, yet you can not help but get caught up in the blistering classic rock of Born This Way and Give it to Me, or the beautiful worship of Light Up and Oxygen. While not their best, it’s an amazing record nonetheless and a fine example of how versatile these guys are.

10. Heath McNease: Among Thieves

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Heath Mcnease is a stellar independent artist that releases albums almost constantly. This is one album that definitely took me by surprise! Having released a previous album just six weeks prior, Heath released another acoustic ten track album called Among Thieves, and for an album released in such a short time, it’s great. It bares a really gentle, calming acoustic sound. A good example of how this sounds is actually the album cover itself. I highly recommend both this, and his album, Fort Wayne, and its film, which you can watch and download on Noisetrade.

9. Jackie Hill Perry: the Art of Joy

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The Art of Joy was one of my most anticipated rap releases when it was announced, and boy did it satisfy all expectations. Jackie’s raps are pretty much flawless, and the hooks are catchy and moving. Her lyrics are some of the deepest pieces of poetry to come out in a long time. With just this album, Jackie puts herself in the same boat as the incredible Beautiful Eulogy and Propaganda. If you like hip hop or rap, don’t hesitate to check this album out!

8. Demon Hunter: Extremist

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As a newer fan of metal, Demon Hunter brings everything I love about the genre and mixes it into a perfect box of chaos and beauty. Some might get turned off by the album cover and music style, but make no mistake, Extremist is quite melodic and, in a metal kind of way, beautiful. The entire album cycles around being an extremist for Christ and turning away from the emptiness and sinfulness of the world. Songs like Artificial Light,The Last One Alive, and my personal favourite, Gasoline, prove these guys aren’t about to water down their love for God, nor message of the Gospel for anyone! This is highly recommended for fans of metal and those who want a good amount of conviction and challenging lyrics dashed with a smidget of righteous anger in their music. Do not pass this one up!

7. Switchfoot: Fading West

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This year started with a bang with Swtichfoot’s album, Fading West. Moving from the heavier Vice Verses, Swtichfoot went with a more pop style with this album, and though this is usually a bit of a put off for me, Swtichfoot pull it off brilliantly. A surfer’s dream album, it has a west coast type of sound that is perfect for a day at the beach! Though lyrically it’s not their deepest, or musically their best, I just really, really enjoy this album, and since releasing back in January, it’s still replaying on my ipod quite frequently. I can’t wait to see where Switchfoot go next!

6. Disciple: Attack

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Another metal album that boldly proclaims Christ and shouts against the enemy. Disciple are more of a classic metal/hard rock band that have been around since the early nineties and, now being independent, show no signs of slowing down or watering down their message for the mainstream audience. While not the most diverse metal album, I simply love this record. Pure fun, uplifting, and adrenaline laced metal! Highly recommended.

5. Needtobreathe: Rivers in the Wasteland

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With Needtobreathe being my favourite band, my hopes were through the roof when this album was released, and I can honestly say that this is the best album they have released to date! Rivers takes a more stripped down, acoustic approach; but don’t be fooled, they still bring the rock. Songs like Feet Don’t Fail Me Now, Where the Money Is, Brother, and especially the Heart, proves that these guys know how to write foot stomping tunes that stay in your head for days. And the best thing is is that you want them to. I’ve listen to the Heart at least fifty times throughout this year. In fact, I might go put it on right now.

4. Steve Taylor and the Perfect Foil: Goliath

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The classic CCM rocker, Steve Taylor, left his solo career in 1997, but has returned with a shout in 2014 with a brand new band. And what a return! Though I’m not too familiar with his past works, if this album is any indication of what they were like, it’ll be my mission to seek out each release. This album is wildly unique from anything most Christian releases offer these days. In fact, it sort of sounds like an album that could have easily been made in the Take Me to Your Leader Newsboys era. Clever, sometimes humorous lyrics and fun, classic rock songs, makes Goliath an instant classic, and it’s sure to still be rocking out of fan’s speakers for years to come.

3. Colony House: When I Was Younger

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Debuts can be hit or miss. They can make an artist huge, or they can make an artist, well, lose, or simply fail to make a good impression. But Colony House takes their debut, and not only makes it a good impression, but a fantastic album even compared to music veterans! This ranks as the second best debut full length I’ve ever heard (hint: number one is my album of the year). I can’t explain the joy I feel when songs like Silhouettes and Waiting For My Time to Come embrace my ears. And not only are they brilliant on the album, they’re also amazing live. Watch any one of their live videos on youtube and you’ll see what I mean. Overall, make no hesitation and check this album out. Colony House definitely has great things in store!

2.Wolves at the Gate: VxV

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The artist and album that introduced me to the amazing world of Christian metal. If you can’t tell by the choice words on the cover, this album brings the message of Jesus’ love and the Gospel with all the force of a nuclear bomb! VxV brings a deliciously heavy and melodic mix into what is one of the best Christian albums I have ever heard. Try to listen to the Father’s Bargain and not get caught up in the overwhelming love of Jesus. It’s that powerful. What it all comes down to is if you only get one heavy album this year, let it be this. And this list isn’t even over yet.

1. Copeland: Ixora

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Copeland is a criminally underrated band who broke up in 2009 after their album, You Are My Sunshine was released. But they reunited earlier this year to produce an album that would makes us all fall in love. And I can say, they did just that. With the cover alone (I mean, how beautiful and simple is that cover) I knew this was going to be special, and after listening all the way through, I’ve never felt more from an album. I can’t really put into words what this album makes me feel, I’ll just say it’s wonderful. The sound is soothing, laid back, and just peaceful. If you haven’t already, stop reading this and go check Copeland’s album out! Of course, you can stay to see my album of the year; but then go check this out :)

Album of the Year: Kings Kaleidoscope: Becoming Who We Are

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Kings Kaleidoscope is a new musical movement that’s going to take the world of worship by storm. With Becoming Who We Are, Kings takes the worship genre and turns it on its head. An album of 17 tracks, I do not take it lightly that this is one of THE best albums I’ve ever heard. Just listen to songs like Felix Culpa, I Know, and 139. Simply put: the greatest album of, not only this year, but the entire decade, at least in my opinion. Here are a few examples:

To end this list, here are a few albums that unfortunately didn’t make the list, but are great nonetheless.

Mercyme: Welcome to the New

for King and Country: Run Wild, Live Free, Love Strong

Michael W. Smith: Sovereign

The Dirty Guv’nahs: Hearts on Fire

Kari Jobe: Majestic

War Of Ages: Supreme Chaos

Tenth Avenue North: Cathedrals

To note, this will unfortunately be one of the last posts of this year, as I am taking a break for the holidays. God bless, and thanks for reading!

The Armor of God: The Helmet of Salvation

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It’s time to dive back into the Armor of God! Today I want to take a look at the Helmet of Salvation. Since I’ve already talked about salvation in a previous post, for this I’m going to look at it in the context of the Armor.

First we need to remember that the Armor isn’t for the unbeliever. The Armor is for those who have already received their salvation. It protects believers in the battle against the enemy, and the enemy’s biggest weapon? His lies.

The helmet serves as one of the most important in holding the entire Armor together. It protects the head, and if an enemy kills the solider by the head, the rest won’t help the solider survive. In the mind is where the enemy plants his weapons of doubt, lies, and deception.

So is salvation only limited to our eternal life? The truth is is that God has saved us, not only from the fires of Hell, but from the fires of this world as well. When we recognize the salvation Jesus has given, we get the entire package deal! The fires of this earth: poverty, disease, addictions, abuse, etc. Christ has saved us from them all.

I think sometimes we can get the Lord’s will and the enemy’s will mixed up, and I’ve done this countless times myself. We can believe that bad things are God’s will: disease, poverty, etc. We believe God is punishing us or is teaching us a lesson when these things come upon us.

When Christ died, He saved us from every thing that isn’t from Heaven when He took His final breath; so disease, poverty, addiction, are only products of the enemy’s lies. And in the end, the lies of the enemy only serve to make us stronger in the battle. They bring us closer into the Lord’s will, so we’ll rest in the goodness of His grace, and in the safety of His arms.

So I want to encourage you today, that whatever trial you’re going through, there is salvation, and it’s never left your side.

 

Mitch Langley: Grace Defines Me, Review

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Mitch Langley is an independent worship artist who is more than capable of fitting into the modern CCM genre, and from that alone, it shows promise. Sometimes independent artists can succumb to the trap of bad production and quality, in both music and album art. Thankfully, Mitch manages to bypass both of those traps to create a fine CCM worship album. Unfortunately for some, that can be good or bad.

The album begins with Take This Life. Strangely the copy I received from Noisetrade had this song cut off thirty seconds in, but I did manage to find it on youtube, so all is not lost :) The song is a standard opening song. An up-tempo number that is has some deal of catchiness to it, but it’s pretty standard.

Worship is a tricky genre to review. On one hand the music can be boring and void of anything original, and on the other hand an artist can get carried away with trying to be creative that they sacrifice accessibility and thus trying to incorporate the songs into a church service would be very hard. Too far on either side is usually where worship music is at fault, but Mitch manages to balance the line quite well, even if at times it leans towards the more unoriginal side.

The title track is a good example of this. It begins with a few “Whoas” before it goes softly into the verse and chorus where Mitch cries, Help me remember, I’m a child of the living God. It goes to show that no matter how far we’ve fallen, we’re always His children, and it’s not what we do, but His grace that defines us. A good message for any worship song.

Next up we have one of the two covers on this CD: Lay Me Down. Originally done by Chris Tomlin, Mitch doesn’t try to add anything new, or take anything away. While I wasn’t a big fan of this track when Tomlin penned it, I did find myself enjoying Mitch’s version a little more.

The album slows down to one of my favourite songs, The King is Coming. It’s just a really well done worship song that doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is. Another great song that balances the line between artful and predictable and I really enjoy it.

Unfortunately this leads into the rock song of the album: Voice To the Voiceless. After a great worship track, I was hoping for another song along that vein, but we get this instead and it just doesn’t do anything for me. But I hate looking at the negatives of an album, and thankfully this doesn’t continue.

Because of Who You Are is the song I wanted after The King is Coming, and it’s just as good, if not maybe a bit better. The lyrics are simple, yet not cliched: Jesus you’re amazing, how can one man say the words, I believe in you alone. Well done Mitch for another strong worship song.

Skipping ahead another song is the highlight, By Your Love. A joyful acoustic song that sounds unique from the rest of the songs on this record and that electric guitar after the first chorus is just so fun and, yes, silly, but it puts a smile on your face.

The final song, Just As I Am, a cover of a treasured hymn, ends the album in a respectable and reverent fashion. It adds a new chorus that only serves to improve the old hymn and not take away the power of the original verses. Hands down, best song on the record!

Overall I was quite surprised at how good this was, but with that said, it isn’t great. There are just a little too many songs that follow the generic, over-done pattern of most CCM worship. In the end it’s a 50/50 listen. The songs Mitch brings would be a fantastic addition to any church’s playlist, and I’m sure they would be easy to play and sing along to. And for those who just want good music to tap along to, you’re not going to find anything new, but what’s presented is worthy of a listen.

3.5/5

100th Post Surprise!

Hello readers! I’m really excited as I’m reaching my 100th post for Luc’s Novelties and I want to do something special. What that special thing is is all up to you. I want you to pick a topic  you want me to talk about for my 100th post. It can be anything from music (example: an album you want me to review or an artist you want me to look at), movies (example: a film you want me to review), anything that’s related to Christianity, or anything that isn’t related to Christianity. Anything you want to read a post about, I will write it! When it comes time I’ll randomly pick a name from my hat and write a post on your desired subject. So comment below and I’ll add a video to this post at the end announcing the winner!

Congratulations Mitchell!

Tell Me Your Thoughts (feat. Lucas Munachen of Luc’s Novelties)

I recently did a youtube collaboration with a blogging friend, EJ Olsen, from the fantastic blog, We/Are/Mirrors, on his youtube series, Tell Me Your Thoughts. I really enjoyed taking a part in this series and I want to thank EJ for having an interest in my blog and writing, it means so much. So without further ado, here’s the video.

I hope you enjoyed it! And I highly recommend taking the time to check out EJ’s blog, We/Are/Mirrors. It’s a very thought provoking, well written, and inspiring blog featuring interviews from authors and musicians, original short stories (which are brilliant, and if you only read one thing, read his stories), and recently he’s been giving away EP’s for the Christmas holidays. You can currently enter to win the one of EJ’s top six albums by commenting on the Twelve Musics of Christmas post, so I highly recommend you do that.

So here is the link to We/Are/Mirrors

And here is the link to the We/Are/Mirrors youtube channel

God bless, and thanks for reading (and watching!)

Top Seven Christian Artists

The year is coming to an end, and soon I’ll be making my top ten albums of the year list, but first I’d thought I’d write a list of seven of my very favourite Christian artists. I’ll give a brief description of each and a few sample songs.

7. Switchfoot

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Switchfoot are just one of those bands that continually make great records . Blending a mix of rock and pop with a surf/beach atmosphere makes Swtichfoot easily one of my very favourite bands in the Christian scene. My favourite album by them will always be the Beautiful Letdown, but others such as Vice Verses, Fading West, and Nothing is Sound are equally amazing in sound and lyrics that reflect and connect with the Christian’s life.

6. Sanctus Real

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While CCM might not be the most favoured genre of mine, Sanctus Real is easily one of its leaders. Beginning as a rock act and moving into and dominating the CCM scene these guys have both genres mastered. Their lyrics combine raw honesty with godly lyrics that are both worshipful, and encouraging. My favourite album by them is Fight the Tide with its more aggressive rock sound, but albums like We Need Each Other, and their newest, the Dream, are a more than fine example of what this band can offer.

5. Andrew Peterson

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Andrew Peterson is a sadly underrated artist in Christian music. His music blends an incredibly beautiful folk sound with poetic, insightful, and often deep lyrics.  While his music may not be CCM, nor mainstream, one can not help but be drawn to tears with songs like Come Back Soon, and the Reckoning. My favourite album by him is Light for the Lost Boy, but I’d highly recommend each one of his albums. He’s that good.

4.Wolves at the Gate

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Jumping up a few notches in intensity is easily one of the best metal/hardcore bands in the Christian scene today, and that’s with only two albums! These guys introduced me to the world of metal with their newest release, VxV, and since then, metal has been a highly favoured genre of mine. Musically they blend a mix of brilliant harsh vocals with cleans to produce a deliciously heavy, yet melodic sound. Their lyrics are some of the most godly, Christ-centered I have ever heard, from any artist. My favourite album by them is VxV, but I also highly recommend Captors.

3. The Violet Burning

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We’re now heading into legendary territory! The Violet Burning are an unknown classic that make rock albums that are legendary in their own right. Blending a classic rock sound with a dark, goth like style make these guys a definite unique stand out. They have made what is my favourite album of all time: The Story of Our Lives, which you can read my review of here. Lyrically they’re very worshipful and encouraging and I’d highly recommend all of their albums. You can download the Story of Our lives for free here

2. Needtobreathe

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Needtobreathe. Well apart from being my number one favourite band, these guys produce some of the best folk/rock I’ve ever heard. Lead singer Bear Rhinehart has just the best vocals in rock I’ve heard in a long time. While not an explicitly Christian band, their lyrics speak about subjects that are relative to our Christian walk and lives. They went mainstream with their album, the Reckoning, and have toured with many big name artists. Their new record, Rivers in the Wasteland, ranks as my favourite, but honestly, I can call all of their albums my favourite. Their song, the Heart, released back in March, is one of the best, most joyful, carefree pieces of music I’ve heard in years. I’d highly recommend each one of their incredible albums.

1. Sleeping at Last

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Wow, what can I say, this guy’s music is simply magical. Without a doubt, my number one favourite music artist ever, and again, though not explicitly Christian (you’re not going to hear anything akin to worship music) his music is just anointed. In fact, that’s the word I’d use to describe this man’s work. Lyrically his songs can be very poetic, and if not listened to closely, it would be hard to tell what he’s singing about, but once you do, it blows you away. Lyrics such as, “With shortness of breath I’ll explain the infinite, how rare and beautiful, it truly is that we exist,” from Saturn, and, “Darkness exists to make light truly count,” from Uneven Odds makes Ryan O’ Neal’s music enchanting, haunting, but encouraging and beautiful at the same time. The lyrics alone are enough to bring any to tears, but coupled with the music, there aren’t many words to describe the emotions. So to end this post, though it’s nearly impossible to just pick a couple of his songs, I’ll give you four. Just turn off the lights, close your eyes, and let the music sink in and tell me you don’t have wet eyes.

Can Our Salvation Be Lost?

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Wow, I can’t begin to tell you how many opinions this question has. Some believe if we sin enough, we can lose our salvation, others believe we fall away but can come back again, and some believe it’s all been done on the cross, and thereby salvation can not be lost. What category do I fit in? If you’ve read my blog long enough, you’ll probably guess the third one.

This whole idea that we can lose our salvation is really contradicting what Christ did on the cross. Jesus died for ALL sins, past, present, future, so if we say we can lose our salvation, doesn’t that mean there are sins Christ didn’t die for? And then, what sins send us to Hell, and what ones don’t?

I think sometimes, we just don’t understand the glorious love of Christ, and I’m one who has underestimated His love for me more than I can count. We tend base Christ’s love on the way we love, and it’s far from unconditional. I’ll love you if love me back, or I’ll love you if you don’t annoy me. Our love is very conditional, but Christ’s isn’t, which is truly amazing.

When Jesus took His final breath, He said, “It is finished.” He’d completed what He had come to do, and that was to save us. No amount of sin or unrighteousness will ever take that away.

So can we sin and expect forgiveness, even after we have willingly done it? I’m going to step on a lot of toes, but yes, I believe we can. I believe Christ will always forgive us. Does that give us the excuse to do whatever we want and get away with it? The answer is no. Sin will eventually destroy us if we continue to willingly partake in it and avoid God altogether. But the good news is that when we accepted the blood of Christ, He gave us a new life. The old has passed away, and the new has come. The old patterns of life are gone, and we now live in the death of Jesus, washed in His blood, and that’s what He sees. We may do things that are wrong, and sometimes we even want to do things that are wrong, but we can always expect forgiveness, because our relationship with Him isn’t dependent on our actions, but His.

We sometimes believe that when we sin, we feel like we’re being separated from God, and while it can feel like that, He’s always there waiting, tugging, whispering, “I love you my son, I love you my daughter, and I want you to come home.”

One of my favourite stories is the parable of the prodigal son. It’s about this boy who runs from his father and sins against him and Heaven, which is probably the worst one can do, and yet when the boy returns with his head to the ground, the father runs out with open arms. In all the time the boy had run into sin not once did he lose the title of his father’s son. We’re God’s children, called into His family; and families may part ways, but they’ll always be a son or daughter. They’ll always a brother and sister, and it’s the same with Christ. We were called into God’s family when we believed and accepted Christ’s gift of salvation that was given to all.

That’s what I love about my God: I’m eternally His. And though it sometimes may feel like I’ve run from Him, He’s always there and He never hesitates to forgive. Because my salvation is not dependent on what I’ve done, but on what He has done for me. You don’t hold your salvation, He does. If we could live the sinless life, Jesus wouldn’t have had to die.

The last thing I want to look at on this subject is: should we confess our sins to God? When we fall away, yes. Why? Not because He stopped loving or forgiving, but because He wants to have fellowship with you again. He wants you to speak to Him, depend on Him again. So we’re not losing our salvation if we fall away, we’re running from His fellowship, and He’s always there waiting, wanting more than anything that you would return, and soon enough you’ll find that you just can’t help but fall back into His embrace.

And the best news of all? Sin can no longer separate us because we’ve been washed as white as snow in the blood of Jesus. And when God looks at us, He sees only the redeeming blood of His son.

 

Our Taboo on Demons

So I received a comment requesting a post on demons. That may sound a little strange, but I was thinking after I read that, How come we never hear Christians talk about the devil? I’m not talking about having an in-depth conversation about demons, I mean just acknowledging their existence and knowing their plans.

As I thought about the subject, it seemed to me that demons are a very hushed subject for most Christians. I can’t remember the last time I heard a church service preaching about the enemy, and really, this mindset of avoiding the demonic completely is a little unhealthy.

So the few reasons that come to my mind when Christians avoid the demonic is, “Are they in sin themselves and don’t want to acknowledge it?” or, “Do they hang onto the truth that the devil is already defeated and therefore find no need in ever bringing him up?” I might be wrong, but we say it’s the latter, but deep down, we know it’s the former. Maybe we don’t want to acknowledge demons because we’ve let them have some authority in our own lives.

See, the devil has built his kingdom in the flesh, so if you look at it that way, we’ve all let him have some authority in our lives at one point or another. Does that mean we’re all possessed? No, the flesh and the devil are two separate things, but the devil speaks to the flesh, tempts it and leads us do things that are wrong (for any non-Christians reading,the flesh is our sinful desires and ways).

So should the devil be blamed for our sin? No. There’s no such thing as “The devil made me do it,” as a lot of horror films would have you believe, but demons do influence us, and when we decide to follow and give in to the desires they’re offering, then the only person to blame is ourselves. But the good news is that Jesus knew we would give in, that’s why He died on the cross. So when we say the devil is defeated, we’re also saying the flesh is dead. If you’ve died to your sinful nature by living in Christ, the devil’s pull dies along with it. If you haven’t died to the flesh the devil really isn’t defeated in your life.

So in closing, I think avoiding the demonic is avoiding our need for a savior. A savior who can deliver us from the devil’s hand. Should we go around and say everyone has demons? No, unless they invite them in or open doors for them, they’re not possessed. But the truth is, we’re all influenced by them, and until we crucify the flesh and live in the love and victory of Christ, we always will be.

No demon will ever sacrifice itself for you, because it’s always the other way around, but Christ has, and He’s given us more than any pleasure the flesh could ever give. His unending love.

Moriah Peters: Brave, Album Review

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CCM artist, Moriah Peters, returns with her Sophomore album, Brave. The question is, does the music sound like its title? Brave and not safe? Well, yes and no.

The album begins with what is easily the best track of the record: Brave. I love the overall epic feel of this track, it’s definitely a cool sounding song and brings a much needed originality in the CCM genre. My favourite lyrics are, Cross before me, world behind me,
there’s no turning back.

The next track, O Fear (My God is Near) is another strong followup with an enjoyable, catchy chorus that will make your day just that bit better.

One thing this album is full of his catchy hooks and pop anthems that just put a smile on your face. They’re not the most original songs in the world, yet there’s something about them you can’t refuse. A great example of this is the track, Leave it All Behind. Lyrically, this subject has been covered many times, (though it’s a subject one can’t sing enough of, there have been better examples) yet there’s just something really enjoyable about it musically, and it makes for another strong highlight.

Though this album is chocked full of mostly original pop songs that are very For King and Country-ish (probably due to the fact that Joel Smallbone, Moriah’s Husband, produced the album), this album isn’t without its faults. You Carry Me is a little too tailor made for radio and comes off as just a bit bland overall. Stand Strong also suffers a bit from being uninteresting, though no where near as much as the aforementioned track.

The other highlights on this album are the last three songs, Born to be Free, Waterall, and Give me Jesus. Born to be Free brings a Come Now is the Time to Worship feel lyrically, and beckons those broken to Reach out where you stand. Waterfall is a brilliant highlight, and along with Brave, is my favourite. It boasts some incredible lyrics in the chorus with I was afraid that You would turn away but I’m covered by amazing grace underneath Your waterfall. And Give me Jesus ends with the much loved hymn and brings the album up to a great finish. At least it should have been the finish.

The album actually ends with a remix of Brave featuring rapper, Andy Mineo. Other than Andy’s inclusion, the song bares hardly any difference to the original, so it ultimately comes off as unnecessary.

Overall I was surprised at how good this was in places, and in others it dwells a little too much in safe territory. Though it balances the line of brave and safe, fortunately, it leans more to the former. Lyrically, the album doesn’t suffer from loads of Christian cliches, and is bold about Christ, which is always welcome to this reviewer’s ears.

So for those looking for an uplifting record to tap and dance along to, look no further than Moriah Peters Brave.

3.5/5

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