#MusicReview: Rend Collective new praise album boasts Good NEWS!

I’m not particularly crazy about worship music because usually it isn’t very dance-worthy, is heavy on piano or organ, and tracks for worship are sometimes ten minutes or more in length. So when I got approached to listen to Rend Collective’s Good News, I will admit that I hesitated because of my stereotyping worship music.

Then, the first track started and I was into it and as each track went on, I got more and more into it. This album not only strengthened my love for my Lord and Savior Jesus but it made me an instant fan of Rend Collective and I will never hesitate to listen to another album they release ever again.

About Rend Collective:
Hailing from a small town off the coast of Northern Ireland, Rend Collective (Gareth Gilkeson, Chris Llewellyn, Ali Gilkeson, Patrick Thompson and Stephen Mitchell) wants to be known as a celebration band, worshiping for God’s Glory and fame. Since the release of their first album, Organic Family Hymnal, the group’s authentic and energetic style of worship has attracted an international audience, with career sales of more than 300,000 albums. The group saw early success as their first ever single “Build Your Kingdom Here,” peaked at No. 12 on the National Christian Audience Chart. Their 2014 release The Art of Celebration, charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart within the first week of its release. Known for their electric lively worship, the band has been a part of several major tours with top artists such as Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Kari Jobe, Lecrae and more. The group released critically acclaimed As Family We Go in 2015, followed by, Campfire Christmas Volume 1, their first Christmas record, and Campfire II, both in 2016, Rend Collective’s newest single, “Rescuer (Good News)” is available now.

Good News is set to release in January 19, 2018.

Song by Song Review

Life is Beautiful: Irish musicality trickles on every track of this album and this particular song speaks to our John 10;10 abundance Jesus died for each believer to live out.

I Will Be Undignified: A fiddle keeps this track fast-paced and promotes and unashamed dance in the presence of our King.

Rescuer (Good News)The title track of the album; praising God for rescuing us forevermore.

Counting Every Blessing: A worship song that brings to mind every blessing the Lord has provided and more importantly God’s goodness. I thoroughly enjoyed this track because it promoted me to beam with an unbreakable smile while listening to it.

Nailed To The Cross: We are taken back to Jesus’s victory on the Cross and all his death there redeemed for all mankind.

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Hymn For The Ages: Almost like a modern day “Amazing Grace,” praising Jesus for who he is.

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True North: This is another favorite off the album because not only is it a pure worship song but it has a musicality that makes me want to dance and feel fun and fancy free.

Resurrection Day: pablo (31)

This track completely had me overjoyed because it had Contemporary Christian musicality but praise-worthy worship feel.

9. No Outsiders: God is love and we can come as we are thanks to Jesus

10. Weep With Me: 

“Lord I believe you weep with me”

A worship track with an almost r&b feel to it that speaks to the depths of the listener’s brokenness.

Weep With Me (Reprise): A sweet finish featuring a strong use of violin and lead vocals

Marching On (Feat. Hillsong Young & Free): The EDM musicality and the lead vocalists motivated the listener to keep fighting the good fight.

Yahweh: A soft acoustic guitar strikes a soft chord to illustrate the gentleness of our God who is there in the midst of it all, and holds it all.

Counting Every Blessing: A ukelele version of the fourth track brings a new sense to resting in his presence.

Christ Lives In Me: I have a future and a hope because Christ lives in me is what this track emphasizes.

Get Connected with Rend Collective:
Website // https://rendcollective.com
Facebook // https://www.facebook.com/rendcollective/
Twitter // @rendcollective
Instagram // @rendcollective

“From the opening track to the last one, Good News will give you joy unspeakable and provide hope because Christ lives in each believer, life is forever beautiful.”

To see the The Smart Cookie quoted in the Good News press release click here


#BookReview: Food Triggers by Rhonda Epstein, Phd.

Food Triggers: End Your Cravings, Eat Well and Live BetterFood Triggers: End Your Cravings, Eat Well and Live Better by Rhona Epstein

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Even though I bought this book for only 0.99 on Christianbook.com, it well exceeded the price paid. It covers the psychology of why you binge eat, and goes over the strongholds that cause you to trigger into a binge. It also utilizes God’s word to help people take control over any abuse they suffer from and helps you take the proper steps toward recovery.

View all my reviews


#BookReview: Boys, Boys, Boys by @jamiegraceh is a book made for girl talk

As previously mentioned, I’m so very, very single. Like Jamie Grace, I’m a 24 single since birth girl. Yet, I’m not even bothered by it because I don’t spend my time dwelling on it. It’s been 24 years and I’ve become accustomed to doing my own thing. I just spend my Friday nights with my mom catching up on DVR shows instead of hitting the club looking for love in a sweaty casual desperation.

While I wait for Mr. Right, Jamie Grace’s book reminds me I’ve already met him in a man named Jesus.#BoysBoysBoys

Published in 2013 as a response to Jamie’s Viral Video, this is an expansion of the things Jamie stated in that video: the answer to the daily question, Why Are You Still Single?

“I’m single because I choose to be.
I’m single because I’m waiting.
I’m single because I am choosing to wait.”
-Jamie Grace
In 14 chapters, Jamie addresses different thoughts on dating and the casual view on love that parallels Christians in today’s society. Overall, I related to everything Jamie addressed and felt like I was having coffee or a girls night with Jamie herself just having girl talk throughout the book.
It’s targeted for middle and high school age girls and is an easy read.
At 24 years old, Jamie-Grace Harper is the baby in the family, but has accomplished many incredible things in her young life. Jamie-Grace is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, actress, and spokesperson. In addition to her music, Jamie-Grace is also the founder of I’m A Fighter and is actively involved with other organizations as well. She and her sister Morgan sing together in their duo, Harper Still. Jamie Grace is known around the world for some of her songs, including “Beautiful Day” and “Hold Me.” However, most importantly she is known for the way she chooses to live for Christ and share her story wherever she goes. (From BeautifulFamilyForever.com).
Overall, despite the fact that my copy was missing two chapters (I wish I knew what they said), the book as a whole was exactly what a single girl needs: encouraging words from a friend who understands the single life, the Jesus way.

#BeautifulUncertainty by @MissMandyHale aka @TheSingleWoman is a certain success!

As mentioned in a previous post on this site, I’ve been a loyal reader and follower of Mandy Hale since 2010, the same year I believe The Single Woman movement truly began. One thing I loved about Mandy’s first book, Dash of Sass is that it was a compilation of her blogs and tweets as The Single Woman.


Her second book, Never Been To Vegas, was a memoir of sorts where Mandy told her entire life story and as readers we discover her entire back story, as well as her launch of The Single Woman brand, Twitter, and blog site, and following her on-again off again relationship with Mr. E, who Mandy loved. I happened to be a member of Thomas Nelson’s book launch effort for this book as part of The Single Woman Crew and blogged a review of Never Been To Vegas on my personal blog. All in all, as someone who was still in college finishing up my marketing degree at the time, dreaming of becoming a publicist for an up and coming musician or author, I will always be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of #SWCrew and also happened to make a few friends that way that I still talk to now and then. pablo (1).png

#BeautifulUncertainty is Mandy’s third book released through Thomas Nelson and is a combination effort of both of her first two books. As a loyal reader of her blog, I found the book to be a bit familiar as the book is a compilation of multiple blog posts that first appeared on The Single Woman site. Yet, there also was a heartfelt honesty in Mandy’s writing throughout (which is what we all love most about her) that gripped me from the first page all the way through to the acknowledgements. pablo (2)

Maybe it was the sense of familiarity that hugged me from the first page to the last but it was almost as if I was sitting at a table in a coffee shop with Mandy herself, talking about life, and having her share her faith with me. There were times the book made me smile, there were times the book made me cry, but the best part of reading this book, is it brings you right to the feet of Jesus, where you find him kneeling down with his hand on your shoulder, ready to comfort you and guide you through the beautiful uncertainties of life.pablo (3)

I would now ask that you share this post with everyone you know not to help me or Mandy out but because you have the chance to win a copy of Beautiful Uncertainty by doing so:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run from March 8 at midnight eastern standard time to April 1, 2016 at midnight! I’m so excited to find out who the lucky winner is.