Album Review: ‘Shipbuilder’ by Drew Gibson


shipbuilder

by John Ellis

“Nobody knows anything.” William Goldman

As an Oscar winning screenwriter, Goldman, with the quote above, was talking about the mystery of cinema – what makes a movie a success? No one can legitimately say because, “nobody knows anything.” Elaborating further, Goldman added, “Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.”

You would think that a highly feted screenwriter would know exactly what makes for a successful movie, but Goldman was far more honest than many of his peers hawking “how to be a Hollywood success” books. The writer of All the President’s Men, The Princess Bride, and other highly acclaimed films knew that his success was due as much to being in the right place at the right time as it was to his prodigious talent. In the end, there’s no accounting for why one artist reaches the level of broader cultural consciousness and another worthy artist does not.

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Review: The Beautiful Biblical Theology of ‘A Home & a Hunger’ by Caroline Cobb


caroline cobb

by John Ellis

This review is long overdue. Released just over a year ago, A Home & a Hunger: Songs of Kingdom Hope by Caroline Cobb has been one of the most oft played albums in my house. And for good reason.

After the beautiful prologue “There Is a Mountain” that calls the listener to come to Jesus and experience the gracious love of a King who humbled himself in order to save sinners, Cobb launches into a musical telling of the Bible’s story, beginning with “Eve’s Lament.”

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Crafting the Perfect Road Trip Playlist

 

driving

by John Ellis

What makes a good road trip playlist?

Over the years, I’ve been asked that question multiple times. Even more frequently, I’ve been asked what songs should be included on a road trip playlist. Well, this summer, I’ve been asking myself those same questions as I compile a road trip playlist for my family. Below are a few general rules that I’ve given myself as I’ve put my nose to the grindstone of the all important task of planning my family’s road trip playlist. After the rules, I’ve included some sample songs from my family’s playlist and my reason(s) for including them.

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Catching Up

2.-Writing-furiouslyby John Ellis

It has been almost two weeks since I’ve published anything on this blog. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been publishing articles at all; the two things are connected.

Two weeks ago, I was given a promotion, of sorts, at PJ Media. On top of my eight to twelve regular articles a month, I am now tasked with writing ten short-ish, news-type articles for the Faith section. It’s been quite an adjustment to my schedule.

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Date Night: The Joshua Tree Live

the joshua tree

by John Ellis

This evening, U2 stops in Washington DC on the band’s The Joshua Tree tour. Released thirty years ago, en route to selling over 25 million copies, The Joshua Tree propelled U2 to superstar status. Containing the singles “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and “Where the Streets Have No Name,”[1] The Joshua Tree is one of the greatest albums in rock history. Depending on the day, it’s also my favorite album of all time; it’s biggest competition being Achtung Baby, another U2 album. In fact, when asked, I usually name U2 as my favorite band of all time. All that combined has left me as giddily excited as a ten-year-old on Christmas Eve as I impatiently count down the remaining hours before tonight’s concert.

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Music to Play for Your Baby While She Naps

sleeping-baby-girl

by John Ellis

If you are a new parent, you should be terrified! Raising your new baby is a one-shot deal, and, statistically speaking, you are going to mess that one shot up. Every choice you make from here on out is going to help determine whether your cute baby will end up as a CEO of a Fortune 500 Company or sporting a face tattoo while doing time in a federal penitentiary. Considering that there are far more people sporting face tattoos inside of federal penitentiaries than there are who are CEO’s of Fortune 500 Companies, there is a much, much greater likelihood that your new baby is going to end up a felon rather than a CEO. Thankfully, I’m here to help.

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David & Goliath: A Tale of Two Songs


DavidAndGoliathGettyImages-91727886

by John Ellis

If the Old Testament stories were to be ranked based on popularity, the story of David and Goliath would undoubtedly rank in the top-three. I wouldn’t be surprised if most people’s list didn’t rank the tale as number-one. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in Sunday School or VBS is familiar with the story of the young Israelite who was destined to become king taking down the Philistine giant with only a sling. The Biblical story is so ubiquitous, in fact, that “David and Goliath” has become a cultural colloquialism used to refer to any underdog tale. Sadly, though, the story of David and Goliath is as misunderstood as it is popular.

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