Archive | July, 2007

Songwriting Tips from Fernando Ortega

I’m in Austin, Texas at the moment, with three of my good friends, Ken Boer, Joe Stigora, and Pat Sczebel. Each of these guys serves as a music and worship pastor in a Sovereign Grace church (Gaithersburg, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Vancouver, B.C.)  They help me equip, encourage, and serve the worship leaders of Sovereign Grace in their different regions. We’re here attending the National Worship Leader Conference, put on by Worship Leader magazine, and also planning our own WorshipGod08 conference (July 30-Aug. 2). This morning I had the opportunity to hear Fernando Ortega lead worship with a string quartet and then teach a workshop on songwriting. …

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One Step Closer to a Subtitle

Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas for a subtitle for my book. So kind of you. There were a number that made an impact on me (A Plea to An Emerging Generation of Leaders), some I laughed out loud at (Worship Matters: Yo Quiero Taco Bell), and others that made me think. After reading them all, these are the options I’m considering at the moment: 1. Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God 2. Worship Matters: Biblical Foundations for Leaders 3. Worship Matters: A Practical Theology for Leaders 4. No subtitle I’d like to get a quick vote from you all as to which one you think an atheological twenty-something …

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Book Update and Looking for a Subtitle

This past Tuesday morning I sent a semi-finished version of the book I’m writing to my editor. It’s funny how you can work on something for over a year and a half and still end up making a major push at the end. Part of the explanation is that last week my good friend C.J. Mahaney spent two days with me going over every word. His comments, thoughts, and insights were invaluable, but resulted in some more work. At this point, Crossway has the manuscript and will be getting an edited copy back to me in a month or two. In the mean time I’ll have a few friends review the manuscript again. It’s great to be able to write a book in committee. There’s …

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Should We Worship Jesus as the Beautiful One?

Joshua is interested in teaching his church the song, “Beautiful One,” by Tim Hughes. He wrote: As I began to think about it, I couldn’t come up with a scripture verse that refers to Jesus as ‘beautiful.’ I did a word search in the NIV and the NASB for beautiful, but it seems to always refer to other things than God. Can beautiful be a substitute word for splendor or glorious or majestic? Is it better to use only Biblical words to describe Jesus? In another part of his e-mail Joshua pointed out that other songs contain the word “beautiful,” like “O Lord You’re Beautiful” by Keith Green, “I Stand in Awe” by Mark Altrogge (You are beautiful beyond …

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Entering the Presence of God

My friend, West, left a question on another post. He was asking about comments I’ve made to the effect that it isn’t a worship leader’s responsibility to lead people into God’s presence. Only Jesus can do that. West wrote: Heb. 9 through Heb. 10:1-22 call us to enter the Most Holy Place confidently. John Frame says “The Most Holy Place was opened to us at the death of Christ, when the veil of the temple was torn in two” (In Spirit and Truth, 27). If God is enthroned on and abides in the praises of his people, and if he is wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in his name, then it seems that there is an actual, spiritual experience of “entering into” the …

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Let Your Kingdom Come MP3

After two or three months I’m finally changing the free download song on the sidebar of Worship Matters. Last year when we were working on the Valley of Vision project I wanted to include a song based on a prayer that communicated the Puritans’ passion to advance the Gospel. I found it in "God’s Cause," which begins: Sovereign God,Thy cause, not my own, engages my heart,    and I appeal to thee with greatest freedom    to set up thy kingdom in every place where Satan reigns;Glorify thyself and I shall rejoice,    for to bring honor to thy name is my sole desire.I adore thee that thou art God,    …

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