Archive | May, 2007

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I Hasten Towards an Hour

The theme of this year’s New Attitude conference was discernment. One of the primary ways we develop a right perspective on things is by seeing them in light of eternity. What really matters will be so easy to discern the moment we stand face to face with our Creator. At the last session of the conference, I read a quote from The Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions edited by Arthur Bennett. I have used this book in my personal devotions for years and it’s helped me grow in my awareness of my sin and my gratefulness for the Gospel. This particular section from the prayer "Openness" helps me better understand …

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New Attitude 2007 Songs

I woke up this morning (late) with the songs from the Sovereign Grace New Attitude conference flowing through my brain. What a joy it was to sing such rich truths and be reminded of the sovereignty, mercy, and goodness of the Savior. What a joy it was to hear such great biblical teaching from Josh Harris, Eric Simmons, Al Mohler, John Piper, Mark Dever, and C.J. Mahaney on the topic of discernment. All the messages are available for free at the Sovereign Grace site. I told Josh and Eric that I don’t know of any conference for singles and young couples that has a 52 year old guy in the band. But it was pure joy to be there along with five …

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New Attitude

This weekend I’m at the New Attitude conference in Louisville, Kentucky. New Attitude was started by Josh Harris but is now overseen by Eric Simmons, both pastors in my home church. About 3000 singles and young married couples are descending upon the Louisville Convention Center for three days of passionate praise, engaging biblical teaching on discernment, and rich fellowship. My son Devon will be leading the corporate worship and I have the joy of supporting him. My other son, Jordan, will be playing drums. I’m amazed that i get to be here, and even more amazed that I get to be part of the worship team. One of the many things I love about …

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Should July 4th Affect Sunday Planning?

West sent in this question. Do national holidays have any influence on your worship planning? To what extent? Specifically, would you use the Sunday before Independence Day to focus on our utter dependence on Christ, our freedom from bondage to sin, our slavery to Christ (and so acknowledge, but spiritualize the holiday), or do you have a way of genuinely giving thanks for our nation without worshiping it? Is it just contextual – the answer depending on the congregation we serve? Surely we shouldn’t pull out the American flag, and sing “My County ‘Tis of Thee” in worship, but how can we show (if you think we should at all) heart-felt thanks to …

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Suffering and the Cross

I’m currently in Chicago, Illinois at the Moody Pastors’ Conference. I have the opportunity to teach a few workshops and present a couple songs. It’s been a joy to meet some folks who have been reading Worship Matters. I even ran across some old GLAD fans. Of course, most GLAD fans I meet are on the older side. I sent in all but one chapter of the rough draft of my book to my editor this past Saturday. I’m hoping to finish the last chapter tonight. It’s a chapter addressed to pastors. It’s harder to write than I anticipated. There’s so much I want to say to pastors about the significance of their role in leading worship. Worship is a pastoral …

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Where Can I Find Scripture Songs?

Shirley sent me this request today: Please ask your readers to let me know where I may find songs taken directly from Scripture. One of my favorite collections is the six CD’s recorded by my good friend, Mark Altrogge. They go under the title “Hide the Word.” They’re a contemporary pop-rock style and use both the NIV and ESV translations. SEEDS Family Worship is another collection of four CD’s that are well produced and geared towards families. They use the NIV translation. If you’d like to recommend any Scripture songs, let us know. But please only suggest ones you’ve actually heard. Include the name of the project(s), translation of the …

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Worshiping God Should Make Us Holy

Thought I’d post a brief section from a chapter I wrote on "Living for God’s Glory." In it I describe different ways corporate worship should change the way we live. Feel free to leave any thoughts. Thanks again for your prayers and encouragement regarding my current book project… It is impossible for us to rightly consider God apart from his holiness – his wrath against sin, his steadfast opposition to injustice, and his righteous judgment of the wicked. These aren’t exactly popular or seeker-sensitive topics, but they describe the God we worship. But the more we love “worship,” the more we should hate sin in all its manifestations. …

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Motivating the Church to Worship God

If you read this blog regularly you know I’m coming down to the wire on my “kind of” first draft for a book I’m writing for Crossway. THANK YOU to everyone who responded to my previous post asking about the challenges you face as a worship leader. Your thoughts are helping and guiding me as I write. I had a fruitful day of writing yesterday and actually finished three chapters. I’ve been able to borrow from some of the posts I’ve written on this blog as well as some material from my first draft of the book. I very much feel the effect of people’s prayers. I’m really enjoying the process of writing, which is completely God’s grace. The book …

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Is Worship Listening or Participating?

Kevin sent in a question after attending two conferences. At one, the corporate worship times were about 90% congregational with a few special songs that everyone sat and listened to. At the other, the attendees only sang about 40% of the worship time. The rest was choirs, special numbers, and soloists. Here’s his question. Is one “better” than the other? I lean quite heavily toward the participatory level; I want my people worshiping together, participating together, not simply watching (they can do that at home on TV or video). This topic has come up a few times within our Worship Ministry Team meetings and I’m quite interested in your input. Here …

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