Album Review: Endless Praise by Planetshakers

I have had a privilege to write a review about Planetshakers’ recently released album, Endless Praise. Recorded LIVE at one of their conference nights, this new album comprises 14 tracks. Explosive, anthemic, and energetic are some of the words that describe it.

The album opens with the title track ‘Endless Praise’ which will excite any listener. The high volume of energy, guitars blasting out and sound effects are so much present. Over the years, this has become the ‘signature’ of Planetshakers in their albums. But wait, there’s more! You’ll find and hear more “praise party songs” all-throughout the album, including: Turn It Up, Dance, Praise You Lord, Oh Your Love, and We Are Free.

The second track ‘Turn It Up’ starts with synths and is somehow parallel to ‘This Is the Day’ also by Planetshakers. The tune and familiar dance beat will get you dancing onto the next track ‘Dance.’ This one is so explosive, and full of electronic effects. The entirety of the song is simply epic.

The next track ‘No Other Name’ is the first worship song in the album, and one of my favourites. Its melody and lyrical content will touch the heart of the worshipper. It’s like the modern remake of an old song. The whole six minutes of the song is spirit-moving; truly there’s no other name like JESUS. ‘Made for Worship’ is another gorgeous and touching worship song. There’s nothing more beautiful than hearing the people of God singing out loud, and giving all to Him. The track ‘Kiss Towards’ is so ethereal. In the silence of the crowd you could hear their heart worshipping. I could feel the intensity inside Natalie Ruiz, as her spirit sings in the overflow of the previous track.

Led by Joth Hunt, the next song ‘Unto God’ explodes with intensity as the song grows. The intimate worship moments with this song will bring you to your knees, as you sing “Holy is the Lord… Holy is the Lord.” The praise party is back with the synth-filled ‘Praise You Lord.’ I love the pre-chorus: “We are redeemed, set free, forgiven…” which prepares you for the singing of the joyful chorus. The bridge is a bold declaration of John 8:36—whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Another praise party song ‘Oh Your Love’ opens with heavy synths, bass and electronic mix effects. The whole song is a huge blast.

The victory and finished work of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was declared in ‘Our God Reigns.’ This one is timely and ideal song for Easter. ‘Set Me Ablaze’ is a prayer put to song. A prayer asking for more of Jesus, more of His spirit, presence and power.Sam’s voice is fervent, and the crowd immediately grabs hold of the anthemic chorus, creating such a forceful and powerful moment. ‘Abide in me’ is also a prayer for more of God.

Last in the list of praise party songs is ‘We Are Free,’ which is laced with people’s shouting. The entirety of the track is well crafted which makes it my favourite track in the album. It’s easy to be learned, especially the bridge: “We are free, we are free and we have the Victory!” The studio recorded song ‘Leave Me Astounded’ ends the album. As it grows so does the intensity. The collection of voices brings power out of the song. What an awesome song to end the album.

I commend Planetshakers for another fantastic album. So far, this is one of the best albums in my collection. Their creativity, passion and dedication are manifested in this project. Two thumbs up!

Let endless praise resound in all the land, to the glory of Him who seats on the throne—Jesus Christ.
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Book Review: Prepare For Rain

One of the churches I know that has become iconic because of their films is Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. I have watched all of their masterpieces including Facing the Giants, Flywheel, Fireproof, and Courageous. But one of the questions left in my mind is, how did SBC come up with this, producing Christian Films? Then, there’s the book “Prepare for Rain” authored by SBC’s very own Senior Pastor, Michael Catt which answers it all.

What I enjoy the most in this book is that it is more on conversational approach; as if Pastor Catt and I is in a room and he’s just speaking to me. With this, I didn’t notice the time as I read. The entirety of the book is so light yet so profound on its message. So relax yet so filled with wisdom, and pure biblical.

I adore the heart of Pastor Catt for leadership, revival, for the church and for the people and specially his full-submission and obedience to the call of God. It is so much manifested in this wonderful book. He don’t need any flattery, his fruit speaks for himself.

I like how he started the book by asking four “how” questions. It stirs up the thinking and the curiosity of the reader to read on. The story goes on. It is amazing to know how the Sherwood Baptist Church has become one of the most influential churches today, and it is all because they BELIEVED God for the impossible.

The journey which Pastor Michael and SBC have taken before they become who and what they are now isn’t easy. From their organizational formation, to conquering legalism and gossips inside the church. From the worship songs they are going to sing on Sundays, to having a Christian School, and even to the issues on clapping, they have overcome it all by the Grace of God. Truly, to have a pure gold is to refine it by fire.

My favourite part in the book is chapters four and five, which is about the importance of prayer and focusing on the vision in leadership. I will never forget what Pastor Catt said: “The prayer ministry is the heartbeat of who we are as a church. If it weren’t for the prayer ministry, the rest of this book would be little more than a flesh-peddling and bragging for who we are.” His humility speaks to the heart and it points you to seek more of Jesus.

I love everything about this book. It inspires me to live a life of obedience and full trust in the Lord whatever He has prepared for me. The revival which has taken place in SBC could also take place in you, in me, in our churches. Indeed, there is no such thing as victory apart from God. The life of Pastor Michael Catt and the people in Sherwood Baptist Church, known and unknown are clear and living testimony of God’s wonderful plan and work. Like them, we should know how to prepare the fields of our hearts, for God will send and out-pour the rain when He is ready. Learn to trust in Him, even in the times we think He is not around; and believe Him for He is going to do the impossible!

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK! I hope to see it also in theaters!

“In a prayer environment God can make the impossible possible…” –Pastor Michael Catt
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