Meet the New Perrys!

Well, as many of you know from other reports, Joseph Habedank decided it was God’s will for him to leave the Perrys. Many of us were sorry to see him go, as his lead vocals have long been a defining part of what made the group’s sound so memorable. However, after some consideration, the Perrys have hired an excellent replacement in David Ragan, formerly with the Inspirations. They’re also introducing a previously unknown young alto vocalist to the world in Leah Page. As Bryan Walker says in this video, she’s only nineteen years old! Yet she already has a strong, clear tone, obviously very much influenced by Libbi Stuffle. This is a good thing!

Here is Leah’s performance of “Through the Night”:

And here are more recent performances by the new Perrys:

Finally, if you wanted to hear Bryan sing “If You Knew Him,” here you go. (HT: A reader on Daniel Mount’s blog):

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All Hail to Chrome Nanny

With a hat tip to Tim Challies, who always has good tips about time management, I’ve discovered the Internet monitoring tool I’ve always been looking for: Chrome Nanny. It’s constructed to help those of us who are a little less controlled than the rest of you in our compulsory Internet-surfing habits. You can block out times of day when certain sites are not allowed, allow yourself only limited amounts of time per session, or arrange so that certain sites are blocked all the time. I started using it the other day, and I’m impressed! Also courtesy of Challies, I set it up to redirect me to this page. A very nice motivational message for people like me who need it.

Of course, there are ways to get around it, but as a demotivator, Chrome Nanny is designed to generate a long, random string of variables which must be accurately typed out (no cut and paste!) in order to allow me to change my settings. They’ve judged smartly that most folks will probably give up 32 characters in and decide it’s not worth it just to snatch a few extra moments on twitter!

If any of my Chrome-using readers feel they could use a bit of nannying to nudge them towards greater productivity, I highly recommend this tool.

My Patheos Evangelical Feature

This week I had the privilege of providing the top feature piece on the Evangelical channel of Patheos. Interested readers can click here to read. (And for those who care, you’ll see that now you have something to call me!) Briefly, this piece takes a look at the popular sentiment that fear and love are always mutually exclusive. I point out some of the very real threats that the church and the world are facing today, and why we should not take them lightly. I also respond to the misguided observations doled out even by some popular conservative pastors to the effect that moral outrage is a sign of insecurity in the gospel, and that “us versus them” rhetoric is a fear-mongering tactic with no basis in reality.

I begin the article with a quotation from Whittaker Chambers. If you are unfamiliar with this name, I strongly recommend that you research this man’s contribution to the fight against communism, and I also recommend that you read his autobiography Witness. It’s a very long story, but well worth considering and imitating. I was honored to receive a nice comment on my piece from Whittaker Chambers’ grandson David.

Behind the Song: “An Unexpected Cross”

“An Unexpected Cross” (not to be confused with “The Unexpected Cross,” by Jeff and Sheri Easter) comes from Ernie Haase’s solo project Never Alone. It was cowritten by Ernie and Joel Lindsey, and it’s my favorite song from his solo career. I asked him if he would like to share some of the inspiration behind it, and he graciously did. Enjoy this little look behind the song!  Continue reading “Behind the Song: “An Unexpected Cross””

My Top Five… Daddy-Daughter Songs

In a break from Monday Morning Humor (it shall return!) I’m offering up another top 5 post in honor of Father’s Day. Daddy-daughter songs hold a special place in my heart. There are definitely some great ones out there, although many fail to strike the right balance between sentimentality and substance. (No honorable mentions for you, “Butterfly Kisses.”) Enjoy…

The List Continue reading “My Top Five… Daddy-Daughter Songs”

My Top Five… Family Movies

I’m starting a new “top 5” series for movies. Eventually I hope to do so for songs as well. In both cases, I’ll break it down by genre.

Finding good movies can be difficult. I’m here to offer some of the best picks from my own experience as a passionate cinephile who’s also not ashamed to suggest that there are some movies no Christian should watch, at the risk of being called a fundamentalist. To start off, here are my top five family movies.

Criteria

A great family movie must…

1. Have only negligible content issues, if any.

2. Be well-made (of course this applies to all, but family movies certainly aren’t exempt!)

3. Be fun.

4. Be something even small kids could appreciate (this is why I chose to leave off movies like The Princess Bride, because a 3-year-old won’t really “get” a lot of the fun in the movie).

5. Have a happy ending.

So without further ado, I present….

The List Continue reading “My Top Five… Family Movies”

CD Review: Travelin’ Through, by Kevin Mills

Kevin Mills is a Canadian-born country/gospel singer and voiceover artist. (Not to be confused with Kevin Mills the Elvis impersonator, whose stuff I found in related videos on Youtube!) He comes from an evangelistic background, having experience as an opening soloist for his father’s revival meetings. He is currently signed to Nashville’s Song Garden Music Group/Grapevine records. Travelin’ Through is his third project, a mix of originals and country/gospel/bluegrass covers. It features background vocals from Jeremy Easley, former tenor for the Lefevre Quartet, and David Staton, lead singer for Palmetto State Quartet. This review presents some highlights of the album and some ways in which it could be improved.

Song List

Travelin' Through

(1) Til the Answer Comes (2) Dig Another Well  (3)  Believe In the Dream  (4) Walk On the Water  (5) Travelin’ Through  (6) Church Bells  (7) You’re My Best Friend (8) Black and White (9) Bible and a Belt  (10) Three Wooden Crosses  (11) A Living Prayer (12)Til the Answer Comes (Reprise)

Project available from… Amazon, iTunes, Artist Website Continue reading “CD Review: Travelin’ Through, by Kevin Mills”