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: Disaster Relief, Assisted Suicide, The Bones of Saint Peter, and Other Topics

2.-Writing-furiouslyby John Ellis

This last week has been a busy writing week. I have written eleven articles that have been published, and three that will probably be published today or tomorrow (and I owe my editor one more article this week). My article about the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief Team has done very well. I don’t have a view-count, but the article has been shared on Facebook 70,000 times!

If you are interested in reading any the articles below, click on the title and you will be redirected. Thank you for reading.

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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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The 10 Best Hymns of All Time

hymnal

by John Ellis

Ranking hymns was supposed to be easy. When the idea first came to me, I assumed that minimal effort would be required (both in thought and in execution), and that the end result would yield high reward (page clicks and discussion). While I have yet to discover if the second half of my assumption is correct, the first half has proven laughably wrong. There are several reasons for that: 1. There are a lot of excellent hymns out there. 2. Choosing what I believe are the best hymns of all time seems weighted with far more import than when I’m ranking the pop music released during the administration of President Ronald Reagan, for example. 3. Every single person I asked, listed different songs than those I was considering. 4. I don’t hold to as clearly defined and strict of a definition of “hymn” as hymnody nerds do. Strangely, the opinions of hymnody nerds actually matter to me. And, 5. My pastor (boss) reads what I write, and if I choose incorrectly, he will be sure to let me know. Probably over and over. In front of people. I am risking scorn by ranking the best hymns of all time.

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Lead Me Home by Jill Phillips: A Beautiful Collection of Hymns

jill-phillipsby John Ellis

I love hymns. However, that wasn’t always the case. I’ve always loved listening to music, but, more often than not, over the course of my life, that music was far afield from the hymn genre. While I’m not sure if it’s a product of having reached middle-age or my sanctification (probably both), I find myself listening to hymns more and more. Not only is the artistry in hymns rich, but the message of that artistry is often directly connected to a robust theology. While recognizing that all good art glorifies God, there is something satisfying about drinking from the majestic artistic well filled with songs written for the explicit purpose of magnifying the name of God.

In order to feed my growing appetite for hymns, I remain on the lookout for albums that feature mostly hymns. Which, oddly, has proven more difficult of a task than I would’ve guessed a few years ago. Thankfully, this past December, at Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God concert, I was introduced to Jill Phillips who had recently released Lead Me Home, an album of hymns and gospel songs.

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Why My Family Will Not be Watching the Super Bowl Halftime Show

lady-gaga1

by John Ellis

During her Super Bowl halftime show, Lady Gaga has promised that she is going to continue to promote a message of inclusion and equality – synonymous for promoting a pro-lgbtq agenda. She proudly asserted during press conferences over the last few weeks that, “The only statements I’ll be making during the halftime show are the ones that I’ve been consistently making throughout my career.” Considering that Lady Gaga has made a career out of flaunting and celebrating her overt rebellion against my King, my family and I will not be watching Lady Gaga’s halftime show at the Super Bowl this evening.

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Album Review: Red Sea Road by Ellie Holcomb

ellieholcomb2

by John Ellis

Three years after Ellie Holcomb released her successful debut LP, As Sure As the Sun, the Nashville based musician delivers a sophomore album, Red Sea Road, that delivers on the promise of excellence embedded in her debut album. Matching its aesthetic excellence, Red Sea Road has a thematic solidity that is rarely found in pop music.

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