All songs are written either by Fern, her husband Brad, or both. They are all scripture based, but what makes this release unique is the great style of songwriting that Fern and Brad employ. It is obvious that there has been some good musical background in Fern and Brad's lives, as displayed in each unique song. Each song is written not only to accommodate the scripture-based message, but seems to capture the very emotion of the message portrayed. I have seen many artists who have recorded songs based upon God's word, however to capture its meaning through the music transcends directly to the heart.
There are many songs on "THE CALL" that I wanted to give to you as a song sample; however, I have chosen three of my favorites. You'll just have to get this release to hear the full collection.
The first song sample is from the song entitled, "Everything That Has Breath". Based on Deuteronomy 6:5, and Psalm 150, this song calls us all to the reason that we exist. Praise Him with all of your heart, mind, and soul, is the theme to this uplifting song. We are to praise Him in all that we go through. In fact, the song proclaims that Yeshua is the Rock, and great King over all nations. This harmonically driven song is well performed. So many artists attempt to portray "bigger than life" musical productions, which is a common trait in studio production. This song simply put, drives the heart of the scripture that it is centered around. You will be left with the desire to do just what the song proclaims. Praise Him!
The second song pick is entitled "The Quiet Place". The song begins with a reminder of the noises we hear in the hustle-bustle of the world that we live in. Based upon Psalms 27, 46, and 131, this song brings us to the "quiet place" only provided by God and the beauty that He has created for us. I don't know about you, but much of the time I find myself running around almost in circles, caught up in the busy pace of life. I forget to slow down and enjoy the "quiet place". This song transports the listener to that quiet place. The beautiful melody, delivered by the rich tonality of Fern's voice, completes this wonderful song. You will agree, I am sure.
The third song sample is entitled "A Miracle Happened There". Fern employs a wonderful recounting of the Book of Maccabees, along with words interwoven from the books of John, 2 Corinthians, and Matthew. The song makes the connection that just as the Lord provided the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days after the Temple was destroyed, there is also the miracle when we receive Yeshua. The darkness in our hearts is filled with His light. "There is none like Him! Who can compare?"
May you all be blessed with this refreshing collection from Fern's heart to yours! Order your copy right away. You will be happy that you did!
A Review of "The Call" by Lynne Albertson of The Messianic Times
The Call, Fern Batchelor's first album, is a family affair. It includes songs written by Fern and collaborations with her husband, Brad, as well as background vocals by brother Mark Shapiro and his wife, Chris.
Fern says the concept for the title song, "The Call" came while Brad was designing and installing stained-glass windows for their congregation's new sanctuary.
He noticed a message in the symbols of his designs: a Star of David, flanked by a shofar and a dove; a menorah between a chai (abundant life) and the Two Tablets of Stone.
When read from left to right, the symbols said, "Calling Israel to receive the Spirit and abundant life through the light of His Word". Fern sensed an anointing on this concept and the celebratory song was based on the windows' message: "From the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the call to Yisrael is heard: come to life in the Spirit, life abundant through the light of the Living Word".
The 14 songs on this CD reflect the joyful journey of Fern embracing her Jewish heritage after a pastor greeted her as a daughter of Abraham when she came to the Lord in 1982. Scripture backs her lyrics, and the simple melodic strains lend an Israeli folk sound to portions of this album, reminiscent of early Liberated Wailing Wall albums, the musical outreach arm of Jews for Jesus.
Songs such as "Sabbath Rest", taken from the traditional Shabbat evening service, and "A Miracle Happened There", based on the book of the Maccabees, reveal the depth of Fern's Jewishness.
"Everything That Has Breath" is a joyously uplifting praise song. In "The Quiet Place", flowing streams, birdsong and a lilting flute reflect the story behind the song. My favorite, "Candle in the Night", is a simple, worshipful love song to Yeshua.
The chorus says it all: "In wonder I watched, and with natural ease, love grew.... and I'll never love another as I love You".
The Call is a strong testimony to our restoration in the Lord.
Great work on your CD!!!! You have a beautiful voice and an even more beautiful spirit! I loved how you used so many people's giftings to lift up a wonderful offering to the Lord.
This CD is beautifully done. The musicianship is stellar. I love the variety. You can feel the love pour out of it when you listen. I really enjoyed the sense of humor in the doo-wop piece - smile and feel good!
- Kathy Shooster, Galilee of the Nations Recording Artist, Philadelphia, PA
I give it a 98 out of 100. I think you have something you should be very proud of.
- Michael Garrett, The Lion's Den Recording Studio, Willingboro, NJ
I think that this wonderful album, "Unchanging One," needs to be heard......not only by the Messianic Community, but the rest of the Body of Messiah.
This CD covers a wide variety of music and, in my opinion, incredible heartfelt songs. I've listened to it over and over, and always feel God's love coming through the songs.
- Dave Winn, Worship Director, Beth Emanuel Messianic Congregation, Philadelphia, PA
You have a great faith in what you believe and it shows in the life you lead. I am extremely pleased at what I heard.
Cut # 3 was very good; Cut #6 exceptional; Cut #9 is my favorite...I played this many times. The music is glorious, the singer has a beautiful range and voice. Congratulations on a very moving accomplishment.
- Milton Kleinerman, Trenton NJ
A Review of "Unchanging One" by Lynne Plunkett, occasional writer for The Messianic Times
From the striking cover artwork to the almost outrageous variety of songs, "Unchanging One" is a personal love letter to the God of the Universe. This tour de force reflects a dizzying variety and range, from reverential to rollicking, all of them imbued with praise, joy and love for Adonai.
There is something here for everyone. A light conga rhythm opens the album with,"Made for This", a song that invites the Lord to come inhabit our praises. Then somehow
it moves effortlessly to a more orchestral sound in "All Our Wounds Will Be Gone", with its heartfelt yearning for God's healing presence. A recorder contributes an almost medieval air to the next song, "You Alone Are Worthy", a paean of praise to the glorious God of Creation.
But there's still more. Want klezmer? Then listen to "Baruch HaShem", and you will get up and dance for joy in the Lord. And while you're in the mood to dance, listen to "Left Foot in the Light", with its sly doo-wop cautionary tale of dancing with the devil. This still doesn't prepare you for the swing song, "God is Big Enough". Yes, I said swing, as in big band, with alliterative fun and clever word plays thrown in for good measure. In this one, you can get "fraternal with the Eternal" and "intimate with the Infinite." Surely Yeshua Himself is tapping his foot to the beat of this funky creation.
We are reminded of Yeshua's love for us in "Doing Your Will" with its aching honesty and acknowledgement of His sacrifice for us. Next, a Spanish guitar contributes to the Latin flavor of "My Soul Magnifies the Lord", and a chorus joins in to proclaim the holiness of the Lord.
The title song, "Unchanging One", adds a haunting flute to drums and guitar in this missive addressed to our Father, Brother, Lover and Friend, and reminds us that we can always take comfort in God's faithfulness and constancy. Switching gears yet again, "With Love from God" is reminiscent of the easygoing folk ballads of the 70's, with its finger-picking guitar and tempo and even by virtue of its theme in this case, how He guides us on our journey through life's storms.
"Your Hand of Mercy" speaks to all of us about learning through sorrow. How often have we asked for Him to lead us from this desert land, to reach down His hand of mercy? Who will save us? Thanks be to God, through Messiah Yeshua our Lord!
My favorite may be "Purify Our Hearts". Its delicate piano accompaniment underscores the prayer that starts with a slow and measured pace, and then reaches a crescendo in our plea for sanctification and to serve Him in truth. This one will bring you to your knees.
The album ends with the pure worship of "His Love Changes Me", with its thanksgiving for Yeshua's sacrifice, and "My Grace is Upon You". The crystalline clarity of a harp combined with cello and ocean sounds contributes to the mood of this closing song, which could serve as a backdrop to prayer or personal devotional time. It reminds us that while we are not worthy of His holy place, no one is. His grace is all we need!
And if all that were not enough, Fern has also included a bonus: the performance track for "Unchanging One". So get out your karaoke machines and start singing…all to the glory of God!
I've listened to the CD, and I love it. Not only does it glorify our Lord and direct our hearts towards Him, but it's uniquely you. The joy, the humor and the passion are all you, or I guess more accurately, the image of Christ expressed through you.
I'm also impressed by the variety of genres. And when did you learn to sing in Spanish?
Only one question - Was it hard to convince Brad to be the voice of Satan in "Left Foot in the Light?"
I'm certain that the Lord will use "Unchanging One" to touch the hearts of a great many people.
- Bob Lockyer, Christian Author
I was listening to your CD again the other day, and I have just one thing to say about it: Really, really awesome!!
I've listened to it about three times through now. I never listen to something that doesn't hold my interest for more than one time through. This one was a definite change from your first release, and I LOVE the variety you give it! I mean, there are the first few songs that I recognize from the Synagogue, and I like them as worship songs, especially the fourth track, but then I got to the later ones. You have a jazzy lounge song for track 5, and I love it; it's very well done!! Then you re-did a bit of the Hokey Pokey, which I didn't think anyone could do without going insane, and that's really great. But for me, track 8 takes the cake; maybe it's just a Spanish kick I've been on, but that sealed the deal for me; it was fantastic! There are just too many things you do on this CD for anyone not to like it. I enjoyed the later ones as well, but my favorites range from track 4 to track 9; I leave those running in the background when I'm working on something. Those, and number 12, because that was one of my favorites from Synagogue that you always did. Anyways, I'm planning on buying one for my mother as well, because she liked the two songs she heard from it when I had it playing once.
- Josiah (at the time, a teenage friend of Fern's son)
As I listened to your CD I was amazed, moved, and in awe of the talent, emotion, and labor that went into this undertaking. Following are some of my thoughts and feelings on some of the numbers on your CD. All of the songs are uplifting and the words, music, and instrumental backgrounds are sensational. I especially enjoyed:
#4 "Baruch Ha Shem" for the energy, fast pace and wonderful saxophone arrangement.
#5"God Is Big Enough": jazzy, fast pace, invigorating, joyful!
#6 "Left Foot In The Light": fast, toe-tapping!
#8 "My Soul Magnifies the Lord": (my favorite!) Fern's vocal is outstanding, Spanish delightful, wonderful music!
#11 "Your Hand of Mercy": inspiring
#12 "Purify Our Hearts": especially strong vocal by Fern and outstanding instrumental accompaniment.
#14 "My Grace is Upon You" : with the background sounds of the ocean this song is comforting, calming, and leaves one with a truly spiritual feeling. A PERFECT ENDING FOR A PERFECT CD!
Fern, everyone who was involved in this endeavor from the beginning to the end product is to be congratulated. I always knew that you were talented, but I didn't realize to what extent your singing, writing of poetry and music could culminate into this dynamic presentation. Keep up the good work!
- Aunt Jeanie