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Enter the Worship Circle
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ENTER THE WORSHIP CIRCLE (1999)
Enter the Worship Circle - Click to view!Make a Joyful Noise!

Does good, God-pleasing praise and worship need to be exhaustively rehearsed, with every note blending in a flawless, beautiful melody? In their album Enter the Worship Circle the bands of Waterdeep and 100 Portraits answer a joyous and emphatic "NO!" True worship is shown to be a heart issue, not a production. By recording this album in a lodge in Possum Kingdom, Texas, and distributing it without the controlling 'help' of big record labels, it's blaringly obvious that money was not the driving force behind this project. There was a need in the hearts of the artists to do what they were created for—praising their God. Thankfully they also invite us to come along with them and enter the shining presence of our Lord. Oh, how beautiful it is...

Opening with a gentle bongo rhythm, the happy melody of "Today" declares a commitment to obey God through praising him, regardless of petty circumstances: "Today we are living this choice now to fall at his feet and believe."

Track two portrays the essence of the whole album. Using such anti-traditional instruments such as cookie sheets and egg shakers, "I Will Not Forget You" has an infectious chorus that demands to be sung by all those who listen to it. "A grateful heart I give , a thankful prayer I pray, a wild dance I dance before you!" Yes, it does encourage a bit of motion, too!

"Those Who Trust" turns the album in a more groovy/jive-y direction, using Em7-B7 riffs to add some soul to the timeless and trusting words of David "Though the world moves like mad, you oh Lord are faithful. Jesus you, you will not, not be changed." The cookie sheet makes another grand appearance to give this song an incredible beat.

Although a good number of the songs are upbeat and happy, Enter the Worship Circle does not pretend that the Christian life is a daisy garden. In the songs "I Could Run Away" and "Though I Feel Alone" the artists use quiet, reverent tones to acknowledge that there are times when we struggle with the situations in which God has placed us. But they sing of the grace of God's Love, which will not let us go. There is nowhere we could go where we would not find Him there, waiting for us. They give immense glory to God for His enduring Grace towards us.

If you can't stand harmonies that are sometimes less than harmonious, or if an occasional sour guitar note drives you up a wall, you may want to pass by this album. But know that if you do, you are missing what might be the most heartfelt worship ever recorded. 100 Portraits and Waterdeep have created a beautiful thing that should not be missed. Do you need to Enter the Worship Circle?
- Melissa Miles
March 22, 2002
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