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He Started the Whole World Singing    by Gloria Gaither order for
He Started the Whole World Singing
by Gloria Gaither
Order:  USA  Can
Warner, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

In time for Christmas (the Mass of Christ), Gloria Gaither shares her lyrics and beliefs in He Started the Whole World Singing. Included are the words to twenty-five Christmas recordings from the 1960s through 2004, followed by text about what inspired them. Songs include 'It's Christmas', 'And a Child Shall Lead Them', 'Glory in the Highest', and a hymn with the same title as the book.

Interspersed amongst the lyrics are prayers, such as 'A Prayer for Christmas', and tips like 'Gifts I Would Give Our Children'. Gloria writes of Christmas in Manhattan, New York City; the Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall; reflections on what Mary experienced giving birth to her son Jesus, and 'How did she ever ride that donkey back to Nazareth?'; the personalization of Christmas; and Gaither family holiday gatherings. 'Gaither Family Recipes' offered include 'Bill's Favorite Apple Delight' and 'Gloria's Coffee-Can Honey Wheat Bread'. In between are verses and prayers - 'A Prayer for Christmas', and 'From Angel Tree to Angels'. Gaither says of kitchen cooking-aromas, 'Welcome home! ... Just add hugs.'

While famous as a songwriter and speaker, Gloria Gaither is also well-known in the field of Christian ministry. She touches the hearts of audiences with her simple yet profound messages. Gaither offers the reader stories that warm the heart and engulf the soul. Her descriptive text is memorable, as in 'listen for the crackling in the fireplace, the aroma of the holiday meal, and the swish of angel wings,'. It's often embellished with humor, as when she says of her spouse Bill that 'he has a sneaky way of playing a piece of music for me over and over so it will start to bug me that it doesn't have words ... a sort of subliminal reminder that I had work to do.'

Among the author's award-winning credits are ten musicals for adults and children, and a collection of books such as Ordinary Baby, Extraordinary Gift, Making Ordinary Days Extraordinary: Great Ideas for Building Family Fun and Togetherness, and I Am A Promise. He Started the Whole World Singing makes a gracious gift of comfort for a loved one, for fans of the Gaither family ministry and songs, and for anyone who treasures an inspirational read with music. Surely a keepsake to cherish, the book is accompanied by a CD album of the songs. Gloria closes with, 'May the sky explode above all our heads with unstoppable music that cannot be stifled by wars, taxes, or full routine. Glory in the Highest, indeed!'

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