Monday, October 28, 2013

Beyond the Frame by Andy Gullahorn


Andy Gullahorn is a special kind of artist. He has a way of creating music that is beautiful and extremely personable. Every album of his has been filled with witty songwriting, humor, and depth. Gullahorn’s fifth album, Beyond the Frame, is no exception.

Beyond the Frame, Andy GullahornThe album opens beautifully with “I Will,” where Gullahorn promises the listener a companion while going down this road of brokenness where many souls have gone, “if you want someone who will just cry with you, I can/ some say, there’s nothing they’re ashamed of/ they cover up the tracks from the hell where they’ve been/ if you’re looking for something broken, I am.”

“Any Less True” is one of those songs that puts into words feelings that resonate so true, “I said I’d love you all my life/ I never want to fail you/ and though I’ve done it a thousand times/ that doesn’t make it any less true.” This particular song is a personal favorite.

“Skinny Jeans” boasts the humorous songwriting that has come to be expected from Gullahorn. Not to mention it has a catchy tune.

Even “Line in the Sand” has a familiar feel to his past records, mixing a little humor with real life depth.
Beyond the Frame is full of songs about wrestling with God during heartbreak (“Nowhere to be Found”), love (“My Language”), and the only thing that matters in this life (“The Other Side”). There is such depth to this album that with each listen I pick up on something new.

As great an album as this is, I still skip a few tracks. “Same Song” becomes a bit mundane after a few listens and “Flash in the Pan” has little musical appeal to me. But even these songs are not bad; they just are not as good as the rest of the album which make them stick out.

Beyond the Frame is an absolutely fantastic record. Andy Gullahorn seems to get better with each release, and this album shows a real maturity both musically and lyrically. For existing fans of Gullahorn, this is a no-brainer. For those unfamiliar with his work, this is a great place to start. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gospel Transformation Bible

RELEASE DATE: September 30, 2013

ESV Gospel Transformation BibleI have been a fan of Crossway’s work for a while now, investing in many books and Bibles, so when they announced they were coming out with the new Gospel Transformation Bible (GTB), I was extremely excited.

The GTB is a bit of a niche Bible. I do not think it is meant to be the one stop shop of Bibles where you learn everything about a particular text using this one book. But what the GTB does, it does very well

The ESV Study Bible was one of the first study Bibles that I ever really used (and still use) on a daily basis. It has become my gold standard for study Bibles; so, much of this review will be comparing the ESV Study Bible to the GTB.

The first thing I noticed when comparing the two were the notes. While the ESV Study Bible’s notes focus mainly on explaining the text in an exegetical fashion, the GTB shows how all of the Bible points to Christ. Then, it uses the gospel as motivation for applying the truths of Scripture. And it is absolutely beautiful. Flipping through the pages my heart swelled with joy as I saw Christ everywhere I looked.

Another noticeable difference between the GTB and the ESV Study Bible is that the GTB takes whole sections of Scripture and unpacks the gospel goodness whereas the ESV Study Bible pays closer attention to each individual verse. This took some getting used to since I was more familiar with the ESV Study Bible’s approach, but once I did I found it helped me read a bit more of the Bible, seeing the overarching sweep of the gospel rather than getting tied down to any particular verse.

As I said at the beginning of this review; the GTB is a niche Bible. For me, it is not the only Bible I’ll ever need, but it certainly has its place. I have found it most helpful during my devotions. This is usually not the time I am trying to decipher tough verses or do a deep study. I’ll pick up the ESV Study Bible for that. Instead, I try to use my devotional time to help my soul be happy in the LORD. To be glad in Him. And the Gospel Transformation Bible has a special way of making my soul happy.

I received this book for free from Crossway in exchange for an honest review.