Tauren Wells – Hills and Valleys

Tauren Wells
Hills and Valleys
Reunion Records

I was not familiar with Tauren by name, but I was familiar with his former group Royal Tailor. This may be because I am not so inclined to bend a serious ear towards R&B However, from what I have read, and experienced now for myself, Tauren has earned accolades and respect from his musical abilities and thus “Hills and Valley’s” has been quite impressive for an R&B novice.

I am most impressed with the message; “Love is Action,” “Undefeated” and “Known” are just a few of the standouts with core gospel messages delivered with an array of musical styles. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the more upbeat songs like “Undefeated” and “All About You,” and at the same time, drawn in closer to heart by “Known” and “God’s Not Done With You.” A well-rounded album. The album also includes a remake of “September,” which all my children knew thanks to the Trolls movie.

Another interested bit, is the fact that Tauren will be touring with Lionel Richie and Mariah Carey this summer. And then next fall he will be out with Skillet (Air 1 Positive Hits Tour). There says a lot about how well received he is personally, in both a secular and Christian market. For more on “Hills and Valleys,” check out Tauren’s official website at

– Ken W.

Bethel Music – Starlight

Bethel Music
Bethel Worship

The greatest quality of “Starlight” is that it was recorded live and it includes the spontaneity of live worship. The band features an all-female led team with multiple worship leader including Francesca Battistelli. Thus leads to the second point that I like about “Starlight,” and that while it includes some high-profile names, the focus is not on them as much as it on worshiping God. The women lead as a team and not a bunch of individuals looking for the spotlight.

As I mentioned, I particularly like the free flowing nature of the album and that is prevalent on the track “Breath.” It is a good reminder of whom we are to be worshiping and why it is so important to offer our worship in respect of what we receive. A few other favorites include, “King of My Heart,” “Catch the Wind,” and “You Came.” Over all “Starlight” is more of a worship experience than an album. You can feel the tension of the moment and the heart of the artist.

For more on Bethel Music and the latest release, “Starlight, check out You should also take note of the fact that the chord charts for all of the songs are also available on the website.

– Ken W.

Duck Commander Devotions for Kids


Duck Commander Devotions for Kids
Korie Robertson & Chrys Howard
Tommy Nelson

The Duck Dynasty branding continues to grow with a recent Duck Commander Bible and now the “Duck Commander Devotions for Kids.” The devotions are just perfect for children. The devotions are short stories with a biblical lesson based on a specific verse, followed up by a prayer and an “action” on how to live out the lesson.

Having stories about characters from the show makes it quite relatable. And the length is just perfect for the average attention span of the children. The action items are very simple to accomplish and they are good reminders of how we can live the gospel in our every day lives. So far, just about 5 lessons into the book; each have been quite pointedly the right lesson at the right time.

With five little lambs at home, I am always on the lookout for a respectable devotions book for children, and the “Duck Commander Devotions for Kids” is one of the best I have used so far.

For more on “Duck Commander Devotions for Kids” you can visit the Thomas Nelson website at

– Ken W.

Lacey Strurm – The Reason

The Reason

How I Discovered a Life Worth Living

Lacey Strurm

the-reasonI had the pleasure of a “meet and greet” with Lacey this past summer. I watched amazed as she eloquently responded to deeply personal inquiries by those conducting press interviews.   Prior to this event, my knowledge of Lacey had not gone any deeper than being a fan of her music and even that was on a surface level.

What I discovered in this brief encounter was a delightfully devoted woman of God that’s determined to share her life experiences in more ways than just musically. There is no doubt that her lyrics have touch many already and even with her departure from the infamous “Flyleaf,” I am certain she will continue with the same fervor independently.

However, the back-story has changed dramatically, and for some insight into her life journey (to this date), Lacey shares intimate details in her autobiography “The Reason.” I found the book to be very revealing of a life of struggles, joy, closeness and loneliness and most importantly, a life redeemed.

Like all of us, Lacey is still a life in process, but her story to date is very inspiring and I am certain that devoted fans will find “The Reason” to be very enlightening. I have personally enjoyed learning more about the person behind the song so to speak and I look forward with anticipation as to what comes next on her platform.

For more on Lacey Sturm and “The Reason,” check out her official website at

– Ken W.

The Duck Commander “Faith and Family” Bible

The Duck Commander “Faith and Family” Bible
Thomas Nelson

duck-commanderWhile I am not one to typically jump all over a “celebrity” Bible, I do realize that having a connection like the Duck Commander brand can make a person more apt to pick up the Bible for the first time. I also have to remember that it’s the “commentary” that’s being edited and added to the standard word of God.

Having said that, I have read through a sampling of the devotions and articles within the “Faith and Family” bible. Phil Robertson and his son, Al, provide the devotions. Both do a great job of relating the scriptures to their personal stories. The focus is heavily on faith, family, fellowship, forgiveness and freedom, all of which the Duck Dynasty show has emphasized over the years.

Phil’s preaching has not always been warmly received, because he’s not one to hold back, and his devotions are no different. He clearly calls himself and others to action when it comes to living out the Gospel. I was really impressed by his personal devotions.

The Duck Commander bible uses the New King James Version, which I have found to be my personal favorite when it comes to a study bible. It can be purchased in various formats; hardcover, leather soft (pink or olive/earth brown), and a Kindle version is also available. While it may seem a bit pricy, I think that fans of the Duck family will both enjoy the “Faith and Family” Bible and find it altogether edifying as well.

– Ken W.