The Vault

Cover of The Vault by Ruth RendellI have been reading murder mysteries for more than 30 years and have encountered many writers, both good and bad. One of the best is Ruth Rendell, who began writing a series of straightforward, but very good murder mysteries featuring English police detective Reginald Wexford in 1964.

Later, at first under the name Barbara Vine, she began writing a different, much darker series of novels. Many of these also dealt with crime, but the stories were often told from inside the disintegrating mind of the criminal, showing his slow, inevitable descent into murder and death. These were very powerful and convincing portrayals, and the reader was left with the impression that Rendell must have studied criminal and deviant psychology at some point.

Now, in what is likely one of her final books — she turned 82 this year — Rendell has brought together the two strands of her prolific career. In The Vault (Doubleday Canada, 2011), Wexford investigates after police discover the bodies of several characters who died 12 years earlier. Those characters’ deaths had been described in an earlier, non-Wexford novel, A Sight for Sore Eyes (1998).

Given her preoccupation with evil, it is not surprising that Rendell has never, to my knowledge, expressed any Christian faith. It is true that in some of her novels, Wexford has encountered some colleagues with stricter moral codes and some with clear Christian faith, but he always seemed to take a somewhat condescending attitude to their unenlightened views. Like perhaps the majority of people in Great Britain, Rendell seems to have memories of Christian culture but no personal faith.

It is surprising, then, that Christian elements seem to have a more prominent place in The Vault, even though Wexford’s own attitude remains basically unchanged. For instance, he remembers that a colleague “had a connection to with some nonconformist church or cult” (page 15), and, “Like most people, Wexford was made slightly embarrassed by mention of God or religion, a prejudice he struggled vainly against.” (page 206) Wexford does, however, have some appreciation for Sunday as a day of rest: “Sunday passed as Sundays do, quietly and emptily. Though with no commitment to churchgoing, Wexford and Dora were both affected by Sunday’s apathetic yet restless dormancy.” (page 47)

In this book, Rendell also expresses a less favourable view of sexual immorality, through the person of Wexford’s wife, Dora. Even more striking is Wexford’s reaction when his daughter ends up in the hospital: “Everything changes when your child is at death’s door, Wexford thought… Nothing else matters and, humiliatingly, you pray. You pray to a god you don’t believe in and have never believed in. It’s a mystery how you know what to do, what to say, how to frame a prayer.” (page 69) Later on, Wexford “thanked God” (page 160) for a repeated coincidence that led to solving the case. And an inexplicable impression received by another policeman during a church service saves a life.

I am not saying that Ruth Rendell has become a committed Christian. What does appear evident, however, is that as she approaches her own inevitable death, Rendell may be considering ultimate questions. In this, she may be similar to Edith Pageter (Ellis Peters), who said that writing about a Christian character (a medieval monk in her Chronicles of Brother Cadfael series) caused her to think more deeply about what she herself believed.

St. Francis: Proclaiming and living the gospel

St. Francis of Asssisi

“Proclaim the gospel at all times; if necessary use words.”

We hear this gem from St. Francis of Assisi often these days. The phrase is introduced as an encouragement to good works, but also, commonly, to subtly disparage proclamation of the gospel.

Two new books insist that St. Francis would never have said those words — didn’t say those words — but at the same time lived out their spirit.

Winnipeg pastor Jamie Arpin-Ricci loves to immerse himself “in all things Francis.” Not only is he part of a lay order in the Franciscan tradition, but he has just written The Cost of Community: Jesus, St. Francis and Life in the Kingdom, which describes how his Little Flowers Community tries to live out the teachings and example of Jesus, as St. Francis did himself.

In a very different book, Paul Moses details in The Saint and the Sultan the fascinating tale of how St. Francis went to speak with Sultan Malik al-Kamil in the Nile Delta during the assault on Damietta in the midst of the Fifth Crusade.

Together, these two authors remind us why Francis made such a stir in his own time and why so many over the intervening nine centuries have found him a compelling figure.

The Cost of Community

The Cost of Community CoverArpin-Ricci says “it has been a trying journey thus far,” living in community in Winnipeg’s rough inner city. Members of the Little Flowers Community are “slowly and at times clumsily beginning to let [their] lives and ministries be more intentionally shaped and guided by the Sermon on the Mount” — with St. Francis as their guide.

Born into the Middle Ages in Italy, Francis (1181-1226) would have been surrounded by signs of the dominance of the Christian church. Yet, like most people today, he was far from being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Following a traumatic battle with the neighbouring town of Perugia, and then incarceration in that city, Francis underwent a radical conversion. Leaving behind a comfortable home and a devotion to the chivalric military ideals common to his class, he began to wander the countryside with only the clothes on his back. Though scorned by his family and most former friends, he soon began to gather a circle of followers, who were drawn by his devotion to following a simple lifestyle.

Arpin-Ricci, in turn, has gathered a community about him as he follows the lead of Francis. Little Flowers Community grew from a few regulars who used to meet at his home and in the neighbourhood.

Following Jesus in obedience is the cross we must take up daily, says Arpin-Ricci, and that is what he and his community are trying to do. “What emerges from that obedience,” he says, “is the very kingdom of God breaking into the broken reality of our lives, our neighbourhoods and the world to shine as a living alternative of hope and salvation.”

He writes with considerable humility, acknowledging that the members of the community often fall short — though most readers will no doubt be impressed with the way he and his friends put their faith into practice. “If we are honest, all of us are looking for ways to minimize or avoid the true cost of discipleship. As G.K. Chesterton — himself a great fan of Francis — so poignantly stated, ‘The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.’”

Arpin-Ricci is not shy about the need to proclaim the gospel. That was Jesus’ way, and according to him, “Proclaiming and living the gospel were tied together intrinsically.” And Francis followed the lead of Jesus. “Francis (like Jesus) preached wherever he went. St. Francis never elevated action over speaking in the task of bringing the gospel to others, but neither did he believe that the gospel message was fully communicated only in words.”

He says that “Allowing this dynamic tension to exist is critical for us at Little Flowers Community.” The poor, he adds, “are able to spot hypocrisy from a mile away.”

Arpin-Ricci compares setting up Little Flowers Community in Winnipeg to St. Francis setting out on a journey to plead with Sultan al-Kamil. While admitting that inner city Winnipeg “is by no means as dangerous as the fierce battleground of a thirteenth century crusade,” he says that for those who chose to move with him into that community, “there has been the willingness to give up the privilege and security of the familiar… for the relative costs and dangers of an inner city community.”

The Saint and the Sultan

The Saint and the Sultan CoverPaul Moses tells us in The Saint and the Sultan “to be skeptical about the tendency in our day to re-cast Francis as a medieval flower child, a carefree, peace-loving hippie adopted as the patron saint of the Left. Francis was far too devoted to suffering, penance, obedience and religious orthodoxy” for that.

Instead, the author insists, he was “on a quest for peace — a peace encompassing both the end of war [Crusades] and the larger spiritual transformation of society.” That is how he found himself in the sultan’s court in Egypt. But his relationship to Islam and the Crusades was distorted or covered up by biographers who wished to stress his saintliness and his desire for martyrdom, and who were eager to curry favour with the powerful medieval popes who organized the Crusades.

The Saint and the Sultan — which has been well received by both Catholic and Islamic scholars — tells the story of how Francis undertook his daring mission to end the Crusades. In 1219, in the midst of the Fifth Crusade, Francis crossed enemy lines to gain an audience with Malik al-Kamil, the Sultan of Egypt.

The two talked of war and peace and faith, and when Francis returned home, he proposed that his Order of the Friars Minor live peaceably among the followers of Islam — a revolutionary call at a moment when Christendom pinned its hopes for converting Muslims on the battlefield.

Cardinal Pelagius Galvani, who was sent by the pope to lead the siege on Damietta, believed that “souls were to be won at the point of the sword.” Francis strongly disagreed, but he did not oppose preaching the gospel to those outside the faith; he risked his life to tell the sultan about Jesus Christ.

Moses quotes this passage from Francis as “the heart [of his] instruction to his followers for approaching Muslims”:

“The brothers who go can conduct themselves among them spiritually in two ways. One way is to avoid quarrels or disputes and to be subject to every human creature for God’s sake, so bearing witness to the fact that they are Christians. Another way is to proclaim the word of God openly, when they see that it is God’s will, calling on their hearers to believe in God almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the Creator of all, and in the Son, the Redeemer and Savior, that they might be baptized and become Christians.”

Francis was a peacemaker, and believed that the best way to change others’ behaviour was to lead by example. However, he was by no means shy of preaching the gospel.

The story of the saint and the sultan is almost a millennium old, but it remains as current as Armin-Ricci’s tale of the trials and successes of Francis’s followers in Winnipeg. How much more timely could a book about peace-making between the Western and Islamic worlds be? Christians in foreign or unreceptive cultures must not presume to act from strength, as the Crusaders did, and as many missionaries did during the time of Western colonial expansion more recently.

But we need not — dare not — be ashamed of proclaiming the gospel, whether we are abroad or in our own cities. St. Francis does have a lesson for us. He said, in effect, “Preach the gospel at all times. Use words; live out your faith.”

Dr. Drew interviews the Driscolls

Love him or hate him Pastor Mark Driscoll knows how to steal a headline. Driscoll and his wife Grace recently co-wrote the book Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life Together. The book includes discussion about topics usually not spoken about openly in the church such as role playing, sex toys, and cyber-sex. The new book has caught the attention of Christian and secular media outlets alike, creating a similar buzz to what was seen when Rob Bell released his book Love Wins earlier this year. In the video below, Dr. Drew (a popular celebrity doctor) asks the couple to defend their beliefs.

WARNING: content not suitable for younger viewers.

Full Dr. Drew Interview from Mark Driscoll on Vimeo.

Review: Bomb Girls episode 1

Wednesday night was the series premiere of Bomb Girls, a Canadian miniseries that offers a fictionalized account of the war effort at home during WWII. Set in a munitions factory, the story follows the female workers that keep the factory running while the men are away at war.

It’s always a bit scary to watch Canadian television. Canadian dramas can sometimes be a hits, but most often they are misses. Our dramas somehow seem fall short when paired next to the theatrics and set design of American and British dramas. Despite my fears, I decided to give it a chance. As a supporter of the arts in Canada, I wanted to do my part to help boost the ratings on premiere night.

One bit of praise for the first episode was that it did a great job in capturing the era. The costumes and hair were appropriate, and that is one thing about period pieces that critics have issues with. The set design was fitting and it did not distract from the performances. It was good to see that Bomb Girls boasted a mostly Canadian cast, or at least a cast that had a lot of Canadian affiliation. It was especially refreshing to see actors with wrinkles and imperfections as opposed to the botoxed and plastic surgery-altered and perfect faces of Hollywood.

Although there was much to like visually about Bomb Girls, the writing unfortunately fell a little short. It was almost as if the writers were trying a bit too hard to get their points across. Dialogue was frequent, carefully scripted, and did not flow free. I hate to say it but some lines were a bit cliché and the script as a whole could have done with a little more nuance. Because of this, the first episode had a soap-opera-y feel.

The story line of the first episode gave a good introduction to each character, but there was not much action aside from a horrific factory accident that made one of the girls a victim. Meg Tilly plays the lead as Lorna Corbett, the stern factory matron in charge of the safety and productivity of the workers. I couldn’t tell if her acting was good because the lines she had to work with were at times so unbearable. To her credit, she did win a Golden Globe for her performance in Agnes of God. The other standout so far is Jodi Balfour, a South African native who has now made Vancouver her home. Balfour plays Gladys Witham, a socialite who takes a secretarial position at the bomb factory in order to aid the war effort.

A character who will be interesting to follow is Kate, played by Charlotte Hegele, a young sheltered woman who has run away from her abusive preacher father. I’m curious to see how they will deal with religion and faith. So far, it has been seen as purely negative but that could change in upcoming episodes.

Overall, I think Bomb Girls is worth watching because of the rare Canadian perspective it gives of such a monumental time in history. Interesting issues of race, gender, and class are highlighted so it will be fun to see how these are explored.

Marc Martel on impersonating Freddie Mercury

His unique voice ushered in the 90’s and survived throughout the 2000’s. You’ve stomped and clapped with “We will Rock You” in sports arenas and you may have even attempted the highs and lows of “Bohemian Rhapsody” on a karaoke night.

I am of course talking about the voice of iconic Queen front man, the late great Freddie Mercury. For decades no one could replace him, until Roger Taylor of Queen, launched a talent search looking for vocalists and musicians to star in “The Queen Extravaganza” tribute tour.

Eager hopefuls immediately started uploading their audition tapes to YouTube for a chance to tour with the band. It was that very week near the end of September when the web went ablaze with uploads from countless Freddie Mercury impersonators.

One person who decided to submit a video was Christian rock band Downhere’s Marc Martel. Originally hailing from Canada, (now living in Tennessee), Martel has been the lead singer of the his band for the last 10 years.

The audition video itself appears unexceptional. Martel films in a messy studio space. He’s holding a mic and introduces himself as Marc Martel doing his “Somebody To Love” audition. He pushes the play button to his backup music. Then, when he starts singing, you hear what seems to be Freddie Mercury’s voice coming from this guy’s mouth.

Since September Martel has been winning Queen lovers all around the world. His audition video now sits with over 4.5 million views and, after having made it to the public voting round of the talent search, has a clear shot of winning the competition. We got a chance to talk to him as he wraps up his album tour before he heads back up to Canada for the “How Many Kings” Christmas musical tour.

How did it begin?

A friend in Nashville found out about the contest and obviously for years people have been telling me that I sound like Freddie Mercury and everybody who knows me knows that. He found out about the contest the day of, the day that it began and he sent me the link and I thought to myself, “Wow this is amazing, this is actually legitimately put on by Queen themselves and I thought I don’t know if I can pass this up.”

Were you expecting your audition tapes to do that well? You’re coming up to 5 million views. 

It’s very amazing. Every now and then I have to remind myself though that Justin Beiber has hundreds of millions of views. Nobody expected it  . . . It is absolutely mind-boggling how something like that can just take off and especially since people have been telling me that I sound like the guy for years. I didn’t realize that people really cared that much you know? It was like never that big of a deal, but I guess it is. It’s awesome.

Were you a fan of Queen before?

I definitely am a Queen fan. I was introduced to the band through Wayne’s World like a lot of people in my generation. Obviously I’d heard “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions” at sporting events and what not, but I really got into the band themselves probably 10 15 years ago

Is that your natural singing voice? Or do you mimic others?

I’m definitely a mimic naturally but then there are definitely a few other singers I can do fairly well but even when I’m not trying to mimic Freddie Mercury, people always tell me, people at my shows or come see our band [say that] I sound like Freddie Mercury. Even when I’m trying specifically not to sound like him I still get it. [I use] mostly my normal voice but I put it on a little bit when I want to try to sound exactly like him.

Your audition tape was so natural and flawless. How many takes did you take?

Think I did around 6-8 takes I believe, and that was the last one I did. The first few I did were a lot more animated and I just felt like a bit of a goofball jumping around in my studio and I was like, “You know what? I’m not gonna do that. I’m just going to stand there basically and sing the song and not make a big deal out of it.” And I didn’t make a big deal out of it by not cleaning my studio!

So it’s like the real you.

Heh heh yeah and I was still kind of doubting myself whether or not I should upload the video because you know, I love what I do with my band. We’ve had a great 10-11 years and I’d love to keep doing this for as long as we can and I was afraid in a way that if I win this it could interfere with my band. There are three other guys’ careers at stake here. You know, if it interferes with that.

What would happen then, with your band, if you win or lose?

Well the good thing is that if I win, it’s a temporary thing. It’s not like a career thing to be in a Queen tribute band. It’s a tour that’s going to happen next year for two or three months and as far as I know that’s all. And I’ll be able to keep playing with my band. We’re already booking a spring tour next year so we’re still moving along with our band as if nothings really changed.

Knowing that Queen was controversial with Freddie Mercury being homosexual, does singing Queen songs harm the Christian-ness of Downhere?

We’ve had so much positive feedback from the Christian community. I think people know us, people know our hearts and they know that we’re strong believers and that is the foundational thing, to all four of us, and me included obviously, and I wouldn’t jeopardize that with this and some people have different opinions as to how far a Christian should go..  as far as being in the world and not of it. This tour, this whole thing, when it comes down to it, is a tribute tour for a great band who put out a lot of great music and the reason why its great music is because they said a lot of stuff thats true. And it really resonated with the hearts of millions of people. They’re the second or third most selling band ever. And the reason for that is because not only did they write good music but I think their lyrics, obviously they weren’t coming from a biblical perspective, but I also believe that all truth is God’s truth and when you speak in truth people will resonate with that and want to hear more. And this tour is not about celebrating Freddie Mercury’s personal life decision, it’s not about that, it’s about giving Queen fans something new to cheer about and I can get behind singing truth even if its not proclaiming the gospel, its still truth, and people want to hear that.

How does your band feel about your success? Are they jealous?

Glen, our bass player, has submitted his audition and he’s actually made it to the 2nd round as well. So there’s a possibility that he might be coming out on the road with me. I’d be so ecstatic about that, it’d be so great to have another one of my band members out on this tour with me. Also my brother, he’s in the 2nd round of vocal auditions. He’s got a really good chance of winning as well because they’re picking three singers not just one. But the band has been really supportive. They’re just happy. This whole thing has brought Downhere some exposure to an audience that otherwise would never have heard our music before and its just really cool to go on youtube to read some of the comments by people who aren’t believers and don’t have any christian music on their ipod yet they’re buying our album and they’re saying stuff like “Well i don’t know how well christian music is going to fit in my ipod music repetoir but I love the music and its in there!”

Lastly, can you talk about your dirty ‘stache?

You know what? I really wanted to, and I started it, cause we were on the road and I’m like ‘well i got nobody to impress’ So i did have the mustache for about just over a week and then I got home and my wife is unfortunately not a mustache fan at all so as soon as I walked in the door I had to cover my face with my hand and I’m like “Aaah I’m sorry honey I’ll shave it right away” and she’s like “yea you better!”  Well it wasn’t very impressive. I think the way to do it is to grow the whole beard out. She can stand the whole beard and then just shave off the beard and leave the mustache so then its actually a real mustache and not just the dirty stache. Strategy.

Public voting ends on Monday November 28 so be sure to visit www.queenextravaganza.com to cast your vote for Marc Martel!

Review: Michael W. Smith’s Glory

Artist: Michael W. Smith

Album: Glory

Release Date: November 21

Before Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Toby Mac there was Michael W. Smith. With classic hits such as “Agnus Dei”, “Great is the Lord”, and “Above All” Smith’s songs are now staples in virtually every evangelical church. He’s had over 25 years of music experience and his songs somehow have the ability to uplift and inspire. His lyrics have the ability to get to the heart of what we try to express in our relationship with our creator.

The music veteran is known for two things: his silky smooth voice, and his exceptional piano playing ability. In his new album Glory, however, that iconic voice is missing. I had to skip ahead a couple of songs and re-read the press release before realizing that this was in fact an instrumental album. After getting over a bit of confusion I really started enjoying the album. This is a follow up to his 2000 RIAA Gold-selling instrumental album Freedom.

Glory has a very full sound partially because it was recorded with a 65-piece orchestra at London’s prestigious AIR studios (the same studio where Andrew Lloyd Weber and Peter Gabriel recorded soundtracks to Pirates of the Caribbean and The Chronicles of Narnia). The album does have a very cinematic soundtrack. The  opening “Glory Overture” is big and bold with smooth strings and strong trumpets. It also has a very Christmas-ey sound. As the album progresses with “Patriot”, you hear the striking tone of the french horn followed by very patriotic drumming. The familiar piano that holds the melody together is just enough of a friendly reminder to the listener that this is in fact a Michale W. Smith song.

“Forever” takes us back to a more classic Smith sound. The track opening sounds as if it could be paired with lyrics to create another hit worship song. As the album reaches it’s sixth track the mood starts to shift to and things get a little more sombre in “Whittaker’s Wonder and “Joy follows Suffering”. Finally, the album closes with a beautiful rendition of Smith’s famous “Agnus Dei”.

Overall, Glory is worth the purchase. It takes a classical genre and updates it a little for modern listeners. This album would be the perfect Christmas gift for a co-worker or the ideal soundtrack for background music at your annual Christmas party.

5 books of encouragement

Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer

Richard J. Foster

For quiet times

In his new book Sanctuary of the Soul, Christian theologian and best selling author of Celebration of Discipline Richard J. Foster, aims to guide the reader deeper into fellowship with God. “Prayer is the interactive relationship that we have with God about we are going to do together,” he says. “Meditative prayer is the listening side of that relationship, we’re learning to be still.” In the book, Foster has sections entitled “Entering the Experience” where he tells a story that unpacks his teaching and pulls examples from his own life’s story. This book is for ordinary people who have responsibilities, commitments, and pressures but want to take time to “sink down into the light of Jesus.”

10 Things Jesus Never Said: And Why You Should Stop Believing Them

Will Davis Jr.

For small group discussions

Pastor Will Davis Jr. is no stranger to judgmental Christians. In fact, for many years he was one. In his own words he is a “recovering legalist.” For many years Davis would use external measurements to assess the spiritual lives of those around him. The problem was that Davis himself did not live up to what he was imposing on others. He lived like this until the 1990’s when God free him from legalism and he discovered grace. 10 Things Jesus Never Said helps to break down legalistic misconceptions people may have about what Jesus said such as, “you’re too far gone to be saved” and “It’s okay not to love certain people.” Also included are questions for small group discussion.

The Hour that Matters Most: The Surprising Power of the Family Meal

Les and Lisa Parrott

For family cohesion

The Hour that Matters Most by Les and Lisa Parrot (co-directors of the Centre for Relationship Development at Seattle Pacific University) is a collection of tips and insights for the family. This New York Times bestseller does not have to be read chronologically. It offers recipes, tips, ideas and stories that will help families interact better with each other. “To us the hour that matters most is the time you have at home connecting with family,” says Lisa. Studies have shown that dinnertime is the most important time for families because kids who eat with their families every night are more likely to stay off drugs, eat more healthily, and have better communication skills.

All is Grace

Brennan Manning

For personal struggle

Brennan Manning was born and raised in depression era New York City. After high school he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and fought in the Korean War. Upon returning, he was ordained as a priest in 1963 but struggled with alcoholism throughout this time. Difficulties in his life led him to release The Ragamuffin Gospel, a very influential book that asked readers to accept God’s grace and love. Over twenty years later, Manning has released his final book All is Grace, an honest memoir about a vagabond evangelist who continues to preach the message that the Father’s love is “unmeasured, boundless, and free” despite and because of our own shortcomings.

What is He Thinking??

Rebecca St. James

For the young single woman

This book by Grammy award winning Christian music artist Rebecca St. James answers every single girl’s question. James conducts a series of interviews with 20-30 something men and asks them question that single women want to know, but have never asks. She also shares stories from her own dating life, opens up about her struggles with loneliness, and speaks openly about the single life. St. James not only challenges women to trust God with their dating lives but also offers practical tips and advice for women searching for their perfect mate. She dispels the common myth that men only want one thing.

Canadian singer goes viral with Freddy Mercury cover

Canadian singer Marc Martel also known as one of the lead singers of the Christian band downhere has posted a video on YouTube that has gone viral. The video of Martel doing a cover of Queen’s Somebody to love has gotten almost 4 million hits since going up. The video was made in response to a call for submissions to create a Queen tribute band. The contest is headed by Queen drummer Roger Taylor. More info can be found at queenextravaganza.com

Martel will be on Ellen today (October 3, 2011).

Casting Crowns concert review

A live painting of Jesus

Sunday night’s Casting Crowns concert turned out to be a great time of worship. Singer/Songwriter Lindsay Mccaul opened the show with a couple of self written numbers. She was followed by the Texas band The Afters who warmed the crowd with popular hits such as Chris Tomlin’s famous “How Great is our God”. Ohio band Sanctus Real came after. Lead singer Matt Hammmit shared a heartwarming song about his son Bowen who had struggled with illness for much of his young life.

After a short intermission, it was time for Casting Crowns. They opened their performance to an anxious crowd and played some new songs from their new record Come to the Well. They also replayed old hits such as “Praise you in the Storm”, “East to West”, and “Who am I”. Throughout the night, lead singer of Casting Crowns Mark Hall addressed the audience. He shared touching personal testimonies but also shared his self deprecating sense of humour. “I bet you all thought it was going to be Mercy Me up here,” said Hall. “I can only Imagine what you’re all thinking now.”

The highlight of the night was definitely during the band’s performance of their new song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners.” Along with the band’s performance, an artist did a live painting of Jesus with his hands on a huge black canvas. He was finished before the song ended and the result was spectacular. The crowd was in awe of this and many rushed to take photographs of this piece of art after the the CC encore.

CanadianChristianity.com and ConvergeMagazine.com would like to thank LMG Concerts for giving us access to this event.

Stay tuned for more event pictures as well as a video of the live painting coming tomorrow.