Not Your Mother's Christian Playlist

Not Your Mother's Christian Playlist

Listen to the sweet sounds of a new era in Christian music.
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Picture this: the time period is when "Jesus Freak" by DC Talk was "pushing the envelope" in the Christian music industry... Yeah, that's the time the world was introduced to Lil' Ole' me and I was introduced to the wonderful world of music. Growing up in a Christian home, I've heard Christian music played my whole life and thanks to my mother, I have grown up hearing almost everything to "People Get Ready... Jesus is Coming" by Crystal Lewis all the way to "Place in This World" by Michael W. Smith. (Major throwbacks, right?) Listening to songs of this type often sound so similar and, quite honestly, I got tired of them quickly. My music taste has never been satisfied by the mediocre or the ordinary sounding playlists. Consequently, I tried to get away from "My Mom's Christian Playlists" almost like the plague. I, like DC Talk, have always wanted to push the envelope with my music taste by exploring my options. Luckily, as I have changed over the years, so has my personal music taste. But something that has expanded exponentially over the past few years is my Christian music choices. After researching heartily, listening steadily, and consulting various sources, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite Christian sub-genres and artists in order to make suggestions to expand your Christian playlist. (And still make your momma love you for listening to Jesus music!)

1. Corporate Worship

If you grew up with the same five worship albums on repeat, I have some wonderful news for you to discover! There are now so many different bands and church groups out now with their own Corporate Worship albums. With Hillsong United, Passion, Elevation Worship, and Jesus Culture leading the way for Corporate Worship bands, there is one band that has missed its spotlight. If you have yet to hear about Bethel Music, it is the perfect artist to add to your favorites! Bethel itself states "These albums are a result of encounters with the presence of God. As you explore our music, we pray that you will be empowered as a worshiper and experience Him in a tangible way." This is an incredible explanation of what corporate worship (or any Christian based genre) should resemble; and each of these groups exhibit this in a new and breathtaking way inviting audiences to worship freely and experience God like never before.

If your mom liked the classic worship anthem, "The Heart of Worship" by Matt Redman; you would love the sounds of "Have It All (Live)" by Bethel Music and Brian Johnson.

2. Christian EDM

I'm pretty sure your mom never listened to EDM; but this is a new genre arising in the millennial generation. Bands like Kings Kaleidoscope, Family Force 5, and Capital Kings are branching out into this sub-genre and making their way to being more household names. Something you wouldn't expect to happen is that Hillsong Church is one of the many churches who are creating bands that have an EDM sound. Hillsong is most definitely not new to the music scene; being in the music business since 1983. Their newest addition to the collection of HIllsong hit makers, Hillsong Young & Free, is currently killing the music scene with their sound reaching a new generation of worshipers everywhere.

If your mom liked those couple of synth-y sounds at random times during "Dive" by Steven Curtis Chapman; you would love the new-age praise and worship of "Real Love" by Hillsong Young & Free.

3. Contemporary Worship Couples

A new category seeming to rise up in Christian music is the husband and wife duo. Brian and Jenn Johnson, John David and Melissa Helser, and even Kari Jobe Carnes and Cody Carnes are incredible worship duos. But among these, Bryan and Katie Torwalt stand out the most. They are the literal definition of #powercouple. Starting their music careers in 2006, this dynamic duo have been changing the game ever since. With lyrics so packed with the Word and honest utterances of the heart, their albums are sure to become a favorite of worshipers everywhere.

If your mom liked the male and female dynamics of "Testify to Love" by Avalon; you would love the similar dynamics found in "He is Faithful" by Bryan & Katie Torwalt.

4. Christian Indie-Rock

And let all the hipsters say AMEN! Indie-Rock is becoming a prevalent sub-genre found in Christian music today. Bands like Citizens, Rend Collective, and Colony House are making their names known and making music to an unforgettable sound. NEEDTOBREATHE is one of these Indie-Rock bands finding their ways to the hearts of Christians everywhere. NEEDTOBREATHE has been around since 1998, however, their new Indie-Rock sound is hitting the airwaves and people are LOVING it! With soulful vocals and great musical talent, this band has some great things going for them.

If your mom loved the raspy and different sounding vocals of "Heaven" by Salvador; you would love the similar sounding vocals found in "HAPPINESS" by NEEDTOBREATHE.

5. Christian Rap

Christian rap isn't a brand new concept; however, guys like Lecrae, KB, and Tedashii have been on the road to redefining Christian rap as we know it. Andy Mineo is one of the many Christian Rap artists who are determined to draw in a new type of Christian with their music.With lyrics that say the reason why he's friends with porn stars and dope dealers is because his life is the only Bible that they've ever seen; you'd bet he's pushing boundaries of presenting the gospel in unconventional ways. Andy's lyrics are raw, real, and challenging to the core of living like Christ did.

Since your mom never liked you to listen to "Jesus Freak" by DC Talk because they were pushing the envelope too much, give "Wild Things" by Andy Mineo a try.

6. Powerful Women Worshipers

I couldn't think of a better way to describe these women of God besides powerful women worshipers. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, willing to go deeper and reveal more about Christ and who He is to the masses through their music. Women like Steffany-Frizzell Gretzinger, Audrey Assad, and Kim Walker-Smith are some pretty incredible women that fit this bill. However, a new female artist is making a name for herself and is currently the "New Artist of the Year" of the 2015 Dove Awards. Lauren Daigle, a native of Lafayette, Louisiana, is a powerful woman worshiper to her core. Her lyrics in her songs include passion, wisdom, and an aspect that anyone can relate to; this woman is the whole package!

If your mom loved the lovely vocals found in "Holy" by Nichole Nordeman; you'll love the vocals found in "Trust in You" by Lauren Daigle.

All of these incredible artists and so many more can be found on Pandora Radio, Spotify, Itunes, or Google Play Music.
Oh, and hug your momma and broaden her horizons with the newest Christian artists around. She'd definitely appreciate that!


Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!

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I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the film...you can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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