Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Flyby Review: Mandisa's Out of the Dark and a GIVEAWAY!

I so appreciate all of you, my loyal readers!  Even though I haven't been posting much lately, my stats show that people are still reading, so I will try to step up my game over the summer.  Tonight I have a great CD to review and a GIVEAWAY for you!

Mandisa's new album Out of the Dark was just released last week.  If you listen to Christian radio at all, you've probably been hearing the lead single, "Unfinished," for the last couple of months, as it was released on March 10 in anticipation of the full album release.  This album spoke to me in a powerful way.  I'm going to just let you read Mandisa's press release here for the story behind the album:
Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. She fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes if she had kept going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called 'Out Of The Dark' because that is exactly where God lifted her out of!  
You can watch her talk openly about this on Good Morning America a few weeks ago here:
That is such a dark place from which to emerge.  How many of us have lost family members, friends, or even children to cancer or other tragedies?  Some people will tell us, with all good intentions, that God will heal our loved one if we just have faith.  We know that God can heal them.  But sometimes He doesn't.  And why not?  Is it because we didn't have enough faith?  That is the question with which many people find themselves struggling.  And unfortunately, many of us end up angry with God, because we do not understand.

Evil is in the world.  It is here because of our sin.  Every bad thing that happens to you is not a direct punishment for a specific sin, but since we have all sinned, none of us can claim that we do not belong in a sinful world.  This world is ruled by the Prince of Darkness, and he would like to keep us in darkness.  Why do bad things happen to good people?  Because we all live in this world, and evil does not discriminate.

Our limited human understanding struggles with the paradox, because God is good, and He does answer prayer.  So why doesn't He heal everyone who calls on His name?  Why does anyone have to struggle with cancer?

These are questions which may never be answered as long as we live on this earth, but even God is not immune to suffering, though He is without sin.  Even Christ suffered, although He alone could claim not to belong here, not to deserve the suffering.  He suffered, and He died, but for the past 2,000 years the Good News has been that He conquered death!  Sometimes our eternal reward seems slow in coming, but because Jesus Christ conquered death, death will not be able to hold any of His people down eternally.  Those who have gone on before us are done with this imperfect life and ready for their eternal reward.  It is we who are left behind who must deal with the grief, the questions, and the depression.

A few years ago, I went through a dark time myself.  It had nothing to do with cancer, although we did lose several family members during that time.  There were a number of other things going on as well, and by the end of it, I was begging my husband to find a job out of town so we could move.  And we did.  I have been healing for the past couple of years, but let me tell you, that was a time that I found out who my true friends were, those who would be there for me through anything, and they were few.  After going through something like that, you really know on whom you can depend when the times get rough again.  I pray that I may be such a friend.

Mandisa's album opens with voicemails of friends leaving her messages during her dark time, telling her they loved her, they missed her, that she is a child of the King.  What wonderful friends!  God lifted her out of that pit, partially by using the love of her friends, and she wrote this album about the experience.  It is not a depressing album full of slow, sad songs about the dark times.  It is an album that is full of life and full of hope.  As I've said in other reviews, I look for music with really meaningful lyrics, and this album has it.  I could think of my own "coming out of the dark" moments as I listened to it, and I felt joy that God got me through that time and brought me to where I am today.

Whether you are in a dark time right now, are coming out of one, or know someone else in a dark time for whom you need to be a friend, this album will bless you.  I am very thankful that I got to review it.

You can see more at:

Story Behind The Album:
Acoustic Video for "Unfinished”:
Purchase link:

If you would like to win a copy of this fabulous CD, enter your name and email address below, or on my Facebook page.  (This will not put you on any newsletter or email list.  The email is just so I can contact you if you win.  If you prefer, you may also send it to me in a message to noteablescraps (at) gmail (dot) com.)

Remember you are blessed!

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.