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Hillsong United – Empires

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Giveaway info at the end of post.
empires-album-coverHillsong United – Empires
Label: Hillsong, Sparrow Records
Released May 26, 2015
Website | FB | IG | Twitter | YouTube |
#EMPIRES | Summer Tour

Empires is Hillsong United’s fourth studio album.  Like the rise and fall of worldly empires, so do the dynamics of the songs contained in the album.  Most of the songs are slow and more reflective in nature.  There is only one upbeat, if that, song on the whole album and that is Rule which has somewhat of a club feel to it.  Most of the songs in the album start off with sparse verses and build in terms of instrumentation and volume.  Verses dynamically contrast choruses which may contrast bridges.  There are also spots of musical space between sections of a couple of songs for reflection, interpretation, and spontaneity.  Musical riffs are repetitive throughout the songs which gives a sense of consistency through the changing dynamics of each song.  The Empires album leaves you reflective and wanting.

Touch The Sky was the first single released and first presented during the Vision 2015 presentation of Hillsong Church in February.  It was later performed on the Today Show.  The song was written after a study of The Beatitudes (Matthew 5).  Prince of Peace and Heart Like Heaven followed shortly after before the release of the album.  Each worship leader represented in Hillsong United is featured on one or two songs on the album.

 

Hillsong United features a good number of Hillsong’s main songwriters and worship leaders.  They write many of the songs churches sing in worship today.  Hillsong United was formed back in the 1990s as the youth band for Hillsong Church.  Each month, the Junior and Senior High groups would get together for a “united” night.  Later, the youth groups would hold an annual conference where the live album recordings were created.

When our family visited Hillsong Church’s main Hills Campus on March 1st, JD (from Hillsong United) was leading worship that particular Sunday.  The second picture you see below is from our March 1st visit.

– Norm

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I got a chance to listen in on a phone chat with Taya Smith last week. Some fellow FlyBy bloggers join in for a Twitter party. It was fun to hear how the album came together, and Taya shared some wisdom with us about worship. Below are some (paraphrased) snippets of what she shared, and I made a little Storify thingie of what we tweeted through the conversation.

If we are pouring out but not being filled up, we need to stop and spend time with Him.

Have people who can journey with you, especially someone a little further ahead of you, and allow them to pull you up when you are down.

A few tweets:

– Joyce

Giveaway

One lucky reader will receive a copy of the album Empires. Giveaway ends Friday, June 5th. (If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing about your favorite album or song, or just say “Howdy”. For extra entries, tweet about the album, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

Other reviews of Empires:
Amazon.com
New Release Tuesday

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

May 28, 2015 at 11:18 PM

Michael W. Smith – Sovereign

with 8 comments

Giveaway info at the end of post.
71sKwrBSRAL._SL1500_Michael W. Smith – Sovereign
Label: The MWS Group
Released 2014
Website | FB | IG | Twitter | YouTube | #SkySpillsOver

“I’m really passionate about the song SKY SPILLS OVER. It was fun creating it in the studio and I’ve been overwhelmed at the response it gets when we perform it live every night. My son Ryan is a really talented filmmaker so I always enjoy working with him on a project. But what made this project even more special was that 3 of my own grandkids were in the video. This video was a lot of fun to make. I hope people enjoy it!”

 

 

 

Here’s the world premiere of his Sky Spills Over music video!!

 

 

I love the comments in this Facebook thread about what the song could mean, especially this comment, “Leading the next generation into battle with the Sword of the Spirit. Teaching them to rely not on their own might, but His!” It is a little more “poetic” than other songs I have heard from him.

The SKY SPILLS OVER music video, WORLD PREMIERE is HERE now via our friends at WAY-Fm Radio! Watch now: http://smarturl.it/SkySpillsOver Tell us what you think!

Posted by Michael W. Smith on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Giveaway

One lucky reader will receive a copy of the album Sovereign. Giveaway ends Thursday, June 4th. (If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing about your favorite album or song, or just say “Howdy”. For extra entries, tweet about the album, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

– Norm

Other reviews of Sovereign:
Amazon.com
Indie Vision Music

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

May 27, 2015 at 6:12 PM

Christy Nockels – Let It Be Jesus

with 6 comments

Giveaway info at the end of post.
91nMCrcQaTL._SY355_Christy Nockels – Let It Be Jesus
Label: Sparrow Records/sixstepsrecords
Released April 28, 2015
Website | FB | IG | Twitter | YouTube | iTunes | #LetItBeJesus

Let It Be Jesus is Christy Nockels’ third solo album and was recorded live at Passion City Church in Atlanta.  Christy serves as one of the lead vocalists at Passion City Church and is recognized as one of the leading female worship leaders in the church today.  Let It Be Jesus is an all-around, solid offering showcasing Christy’s beautiful and majestic vocals.

Let It Be Jesus and My Anchor are two awesome worship songs previously released on the past two live recordings from the annual Passion conference held in January (2014 and 2015, respectively).

Freedom Song and If You Never capture the upbeat and energetic atmosphere of the church congregation when Christy is leading.

The Wondrous Cross is a dynamic, passionate, and touching worship song that lifts and soars.

I love how Leaning on You, Jesus is a newer song that references the classic hymn: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

Find Me At The Feet of Jesus and Wonderful Name close out the album in a serene and reflective way.

Giveaway

One lucky reader will receive a digital download of the album Let It Be Jesus. Giveaway ends Friday, May 8th. (If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing about your favorite album or song, or just say “Howdy”. For extra entries, tweet about the album, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

– Norm

Other reviews of Let It Be Jesus:
Amazon.com
New Release Tuesday

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

April 27, 2015 at 11:22 PM

When Calls The Heart

with 13 comments

Giveaway info at the end of post.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

download

When Calls the Heart
Season Premiere airs Saturday 4/25
Hallmark Channel
8/7c
Facebook | Twitter | Hearties (fan group) | hashtags: #FaithTV & #Hearties

ABOUT THE SERIES
The series is inspired by Janette Oke’s bestselling book series about the Canadian West. “When Calls the Heart” tells the captivating story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal-mining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, along with a dozen other miners, has just been killed in an explosion. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatcher’s wealthy father has doomed the lawman’s career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnate’s daughter. Living in a turn of the century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own.

MY THOUGHTS
We don’t own a TV by choice, so when we do streaming shows online from their network website, we are pretty picky. I will have to say that if we did have a TV and cable, we would definitely watch When Calls The Heart. From what I know, after season 1 started, there was a surprising following from tons of fans. I am not shocked by this because the story really draws you in! It did take me a few minutes to figure out the story since I didn’t watch season 1, but after that, the characters were great and the story is enthralling. There is humor, there is romance, there is drama…it has a little bit of everything. It took me right back to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman since it takes place during frontier times in the rural west, and the main character Elizabeth Thatcher also comes from an affluent family that lived in the city. The season starts out with the trial of the coal mining company that had caused the death of the miners in town. There are some shady characters who try to bring the town down, but you’ll have to watch to find out if justice is served. Apparently, there are a few new characters this season, and a love story evolving. If you are the winner of the DVD set, please let me borrow it so I can watch season 1. And if I find the time, I will try to catch the new episodes on itunes or Amazon or whatever people stream things from. :p

GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will receive 1 set of When Calls The Heart Season 1 on DVD ($60 value!!) from Word Films. Giveaway ends Friday, May 2nd. (Giveaway open to US  and Canada residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below with anything related to Hallmark or TV shows or coal mining or just say “Howdy!” For extra entries, tweet about the series or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

– Joyce

Other reviews of When Calls The Heart:
Common Sense Media
imdb.com

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

April 24, 2015 at 6:10 AM

Goshu Ramen Tei

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Address: 5 York Street, Sydney New South Wales 2000, Sydney, Australia
Phone: +61 2 9290 3745

After a day at the Taronga Zoo and a little rest back at the Laws, we decided on Japanese food for takeaway (takeout) dinner.  A couple of blocks from the Laws was a Japanese Ramen shop called Goshu Ramen Tei which also has some outdoor seating.

We ordered the Nego-Miso Ramen, Chicken Yakisoba, Gyoza and Edamame for the girls, Chicken Cutlet Bento Box with Vegetable Tempura and Agedashi Tofu, and Spicy Wagyu Beef Udon.  The food was decent and the ramen had good broth.

– Norm

Children’s Menu [n]
Changing Station [n]
Highchairs/Boosters [?]
Stroller Access [tight or outside seating]

Other reviews of Goshu Ramen Tei:
yelp

urbanspoon
tripadvisor
Foursquare

Google+

Written by Joyce and Norm

April 22, 2015 at 3:33 PM

The Adventures of Pajama Girl: The Coronation of the Cupcake Queen

with one comment

Giveaway info at the end of post.
PajamaGirl_FlatCoverThe Adventures of Pajama Girl: The Coronation of the Cupcake Queen
by Sandra Hagee Parker
Released March 3, 2015
Published by Worthy Kids
32 pages
Age Range: 4-8 years
Official Website | #PajamaGirl | Downloads

 

 

 

 

 

Melody (age 8)
What the book is about: Pajama Girl going into the world she imagines.
Like: Her imagination and lesson
Dislike: robe taken off Pajama Girl and Sis wearing pajamas too.
Recommend: Age 3-5 girls

Emily (age 5)
What the book is about: It’s about a cupcake land. There’s a cupcake queen that has trouble because they can’t find sprinkles.
Like: I liked that it is cute and I like sugar.
Dislike: I didn’t like the same part when the princess was mean.
Recommend: I recommend it to Becca because she likes cupcakes too.

IMG_1202 IMG_1203

Notes from Melody and Emily’s mom:
I love a good story about a girl and her imagination! In her dreams, Pajama Girl’s pajamas brings her to whatever places that have to do with the designs on her pajamas. In this book, she wears cupcake pajamas. After saying her bedtime prayers, they dream about a land full of cupcakes and other treats. It is coronation day for Cupcake Queen, but the sprinkles are nowhere to be found. Where could they be? There is room for discussion on emotions and feelings. The only thing I wasn’t too fond of in this book is that during some parts, the sentences have rhyme, and other times there seems to be, but then it doesn’t rhyme. Emily read it as soon as it arrived, and then read it two more times after that. And also a note about what she said about liking sugar. It’s not true. She’ll take the sweets if you offer it to her, but she most likely than not will not finish eating it. She definitely loves savory treats more, like me! 😜

IMG_1205

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
71yCWMOeJ1L._UX250_

Sandra Hagee Parker lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband, Ryan, and their daughters, Olivia and Elliana — the original pajama girls. A practicing attorney, Sandy is also a part of the music ministry at Cornerstone Church where she and her husband are leaders.

When not working or writing, Sandy enjoys traveling with her family and mastering the art of making Pancakes à la Pajama Girl with her two girls.

 

pajamagirl_social3GIVEAWAY
One lucky reader will receive a copy of the The Adventure of Pajama Girl: The Coronation of the Cupcake Queen. Giveaway ends Monday, April 13th. (Giveaway open to US and Canada residents ONLY. If you have been a winner of one of our giveaways in the last 30 days, you are not eligible for this giveaway.)

For your chance to win, leave a comment below sharing what other adventures Pajama Girl should go on, your favorite cupcake flavor, or just say “Howdy”. For extra entries, tweet about the book, share on Facebook, or leave a comment on any post on our family blog Keeping Up with the Moys. Leave separate comments to each extra entry with link to entry if possible.

– Joyce

Other reviews of Pajama Girl:
Amazon.com
goodreads

Family Christian

“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Written by Joyce and Norm

April 6, 2015 at 12:45 PM

MCA Cafe

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Address: 140 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney, Australia
Phone: +61 2 9245 2400
Website: http://www.mca.com.au/visit/mca-cafe-sculpture-terrace/

After church, we decided to take a walk to the Circular Quay (main ferry and train terminal) area and have lunch at the MCA Cafe.  The Cafe is located at the 4th floor of the MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art).  Too bad we didn’t spend more time in the MCA as there were lots of things to do for kids and families.  Of course, tours and collections are also available for viewing.

Since the MCA Cafe is on the 4th floor, it overlooks the Circular Quay area and gives a stunning view of both the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House (when a cruise ship is not docked for the day like it was when we went).

The drinks we ordered were the Rose Hip & Mint Fruit Punch, the Old-Fashioned Lemonade, a Chocolate Milkshake, a Iced coffee with Vanilla Ice Cream, and Lemon Iced Tea.

The food we ordered were Mac and Cheese for the kids (which was okay), Prawns and Kale Pesto Fettuccine (which was good), Crispy Pork Belly Salad with lemongrass (savory), Chips (French Fries) with Sriracha Mayo on the side which were tasty.

Not too shabby for our first full meal in Australia.  A wide (and rotating monthly) selection of food and stunning views.

– Norm

Children’s Menu [y]
Changing Station [n/a]
Highchairs/Boosters [y]
Stroller Access [ample]

Other reviews of MCA Cafe:
yelp

urbanspoon
tripadvisor
Foursquare

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