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11 June 2008

The Greatest Adventure

This is one of the many posts I've been trying to get round to for ages!

A little while ago, I mentioned the forthcoming CD from Commissioners Keith & Pauline Banks. Well, I've had it a few weeks now and want to take a little while to review it here. Members of TSA who read this blog may have seen formal reviews in "The Salvationist" which were great reviews - what i have to say is very similar but personal too. I'd like to say that i planned to delay this review so that the initial publicity bubble could be extended but that would be untrue - i've just had so much on lately! But, this later review will hopefully bring renewed interest in the CD!

I am pleased to be able to call Keith and Pauline friends and they have supported my family in prayer and encouragement over recent years. They have also supported my work and officiated at the opening ceremony. So, i'm pleased to be able to return some of their support in this review.

Both Keith and Pauline have a long musical background and have served for over 40 years as Salvation Army Officers. And its this background that comes through in this CD. Keith writes:
"CDs can take days, weeks, even months to produce. But not this one. This took a lifetime".
This is indeed a "Spiritual Journey" as Pauline sings some of Keiths songs and he reads some of his poems and prayers, we hear more than words and music - we hear a life testimony - a passion for the God they have faithfully served. If this wasn't enough, Keith also takes some time to explain the background behind some of the tracks - the reasoning for writing them in the first place - information that only strengthens the depth of message contained within.

Now, if you want a CD that is totally pleasing on the ear musically, then don't buy this. Okay, not the comment you'd expect to read in a positive review. Let me explain. Pauline's voice does crack on occasions and the recording quality of the piano is not always spot on.
it was recorded in a small box room in their Largs home with techy equipment set up in the kitchen. This is a small budget production so that maximum money can be passed to TSA in Papua New Guinea and the Ayrshire Hospice. And its this last bit that gives the main reason for my capital letter "BUT". I'll let Keith tell you:

"This is not a perfect performance. Pauline is chronically fatigued due to the effects of an abdominal cancer, two brain tumours and resultant surgery, endless months of treatment, and the sudden total loss of her sight. She had to sing relying on her memory. She was sitting down throughout and experienced considerable discomfort. This project made demands on her that were far beyond the strength she had to give. ...... This CD ... is not about perfect tuning. But it is about the determination of one quite remarkable woman and the enabling grace of God."
What more can I say. Knowing all that is said here and more, this is a perfect CD. Perfect because it is honest. It hasn't been dressed up to be something it isn't. This is a personal passion of Keith and Pauline - it is a huge thankyou to the God who has brought them through so much. As Keith so rightly says, "Its strength lies in in its weakness". It is honest - it is humble.

I have to say, Keith says in the inlay card that he part in the project was small. Sorry Keith, I have to disagree. Not only did you play the piano and read your poems, but you supported and encouraged Pauline in her discomfort to ensure that her dream was fulfilled. That is no small part.

So, with the emphasis that I am not on commission, please buy this CD. This will enhance your prayer times. You can order it direct from Keith by emailing him at kandp@uwclub.net. The cost, including UK P&P, is £10 and its well worth it for this resource and also to support these two worthy causes. Order now!! (please!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been away from the house for nearly two weeks. Pauline is in the hospice in Ayr so I took one week in a hotel there, and then this week I have had four days completely away. I was greatly in need of a break.

I am now catching up on emails and have just read your review of the CD. What can I say? Thank you for writing so helpfully, so beautifully, so honestly. We feel very honoured and truly humbled. Thank you for helping Pauline to feel that she has done something so worthwhile when she feels so powerless.

The orders continue to roll in and we are now well into our second thousand. The letters we are receiving are amazing.

How are you all? Hope the Rous clan is in good form!

Think of you often and always with a prayer.
Keep in touch - and thanks again.

God bless
Love and grace

Keith....and Pauline too