Patience can produce wonderful results.

Singer Britt Nicole was due to release her sophomore album more than a year ago.

"I was writing but didn’t feel like I had all of the songs ready," the young singer from Kannapolis, N.C., said.

"I’m always waiting on God and waiting for what he wants to say, and that coming through. … We waited until we thought the time was right and the fans were ready."

The time was right and the fans were ready when the album "The Lost Get Found" was released this summer and bounded to the top of the Billboard Christian charts.

At the same time the title track was all over Christian radio, reigning as the top single for weeks.

The title track is an ebullient call for believers to reach out to others because "that’s how the lost get found."

The track is a terrific showcase for Nicole’s strong voice, but it’s only one of several that pack meaning and message into a catchy pop package.

The assertive "How We Roll" tells of resisting the world’s "undertow." The soft but strong "Safe" describes struggling with the idea of relying on God. "Walk On Water" urges a move from doubt to faith.

Many of the tracks radiate an inner confidence and strength, even in those that describe everyday struggles, doubts and disappointments.

"When I think of God, the one word I think of is faithful," Nicole said. "He is faithful always."

It’s a lesson that she learned very young, when her parents divorced.

"When walking through difficult times, I know I can trust him … even through seasons when I had no clue what was going on in my life, I knew he was there."

And that’s the message of hope amid struggle that she likes to deliver when she sings and speaks at conferences for youth and young women.

"For me, it’s always been being honest with my fans and showing them that I’m one of them," Nicole said. " … We’ve all been through the same things, we’ve all made mistakes."

‘Church Music’

David Crowder has been a trendsetter in modern worship, delivering high-impact praise songs for people dissatisfied with traditional church music.

However, with the new album "Church Music," the Texas-based David Crowder Band seems to be easing back on the throttle a bit.

The music certainly isn’t traditional, but it doesn’t really cut loose and let the emotions soar, either.

The lead-off single, "How He Loves," which has been hovering in the mid-teens on the Christian singles chart, is a soft and stirring description of God’s love.

"Eastern Hymn" approaches the sort of vibrant praise that’s Crowder’s hallmark.

However, it still trails off into what seems a lot like an electronic jam session.

Most of the other tracks feel like the low-key songs that usually act as interludes between the high-energy praise songs in Crowder’s previous albums.

When the unusual arises, as in the funky "Church Music – Dance[!]," it feels out of place with the rest of the album.

Of course the lyrics are just as meaty and heartfelt as ever. However, there’s no sense of the barely contained joy that fills Crowder’s other albums.

Today’s Praise focuses on the contemporary Christian music industry.

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