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Passion and Praise
Posted May 05, 2015
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer

The Worship Initiative by Shane & Shane represents more than just a praise and worship album to Shane Barnard and Shane Everett. The two men are not only husbands and fathers now, but they're also on staff at a local church in Dallas where they lead worship each month and teach a class at the church's ministry leadership school. After ten previous editions, this is the latest recorded project for The Worship Initiative.
I'm really engaged by the emotional vocals and the deep, prayerful lyrics throughout the album. Opening original track "God of Ages Past" is a beautiful vertical ballad. It is a moving and sincere offering of praise: "O God of ages past, convince my heart at last, come tell me of all I have in You."

"Seas of Crimson" is my favorite new worship anthem of the year, which I hope I'll be singing with fellow believers. The song is also on Bethel Music's album We Will Not Be Shaken and has a great worshipful bridge: "Where there was sin Your love rushed in, where sin runs deep Your grace runs deeper, for all enslaved the ransom paid, Light of the world, Yours is the power!
Don't miss their worshipful rendition of Hillsong's "This I Believe (The Creed)," featuring tender and powerful vocals and taking listeners on an emotional and spiritual journey with every lyric sung about faith in our God Almighty, our Lord and Savior, Jesus. The chorus is very stirring and convicting: "I believe in God our Father, I believe in Christ the Son... I believe in the resurrection, that we will rise again, I believe in the name of Jesus." The song is a great call to worship, and is a fresh offering of praise for the Church.

I can't get enough of this version of the stand-out Hillsong UNITED song "Scandal of Grace." The song has really held a deep challenge for me personally. There's a line that says "Jesus, there's no One besides You." For me, whether it's my family or the enjoyable things I experience in life, it's easy to put hope in other people or things. But God calls us and desires for us to put all our hope in Him because everything else will let us down. I've been really drawn into worship by this song and at the same time very much challenged by it.
"Forever," co-written by Bethel Music's Brian and Jenn Johnson and Kari Jobe, has me pondering God's Majesty and eternity as the song boldly sings "Now death where is your sting, our resurrected King has rendered you defeated, forever He is glorified, forever He is lifted high, forever He is risen, He is alive, He is alive!" The song is an emotive and poetic description of a beautiful picture of what Jesus did for us. We will be singing "Hallelujah, the Lamb has Overcome," forever.
"Great Are You Lord," originally by All Sons and Daughters, has been speaking to me in my own personal devotional worship time. You'll be blessed by this powerful song which is a stand-out anthem with the convicting declaration: "All the earth will shout Your praise, our hearts will cry, these bones will sing, Great are You, Lord." We live in a fallen and sinful world. One day we will have a new heaven and a new earth and until then we need to all pray: "It's Your breath in our lungs, so we pour out our praise to You only." 
"All the Poor and Powerless," originally by All Sons and Daughters, has a soaring, worshipful chorus that provides the perfect finale to the album: "And all will sing out, Hallelujah, and we will cry out Hallelujah, God."

Closing Thoughts:
This is a completely worshipful album, in the passionate style that Shane and Shane have become known for. This is a must-own collection for worship leaders looking for congregational friendly arrangements of recent standout songs recorded by Bethel Music, All Sons and Daughters, Hillsong and Chris Tomlin, alongside originals "God of Ages Past" and "So I Can Love." These are very passionate worship songs sung with vocal sincerity and reverence with biblically based lyrics. Musically this album is very soothing and the songs are all edifying, challenging and filled with very biblical lyrics. Harmonizing together on every song, Shane & Shane's personal and vulnerable vocals have never sounded better.
There are several instantly sing-able and worshipful arrangements that you'll want to add to your Sunday morning set-list. I especially recommend "Seas of Crimson," "This I Believe," "Scandal of Grace," "Jesus Loves Me," "Christ Be All Around Me" and "Great Are You Lord."  A blend of some of the band's favorite songs, these twelve songs are now together on one album for the first time.

Shane Barnard and Shane Everett write and sing songs with an amazing passion and with unashamed praise and gratitude to our Savior that is very inspiring and emotionally moving. After repeated listens, the songs get deeper into the recesses of your heart with the challenging messages. Whether as an album to set the mood for reflection and worship or for personal times of devotion, I rate The Worship Initiative highly.
Song to Download Now: 
"Seas of Crimson" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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