Archive | October, 2007

All I Need Is Here – Michael Gungor Band CD

I met Michael Gungor briefly a few years ago at an Integrity Songwriter’s retreat. I was struck by two things. He’s an incredibly gifted guitarist. And he’s a humble man. A great combination. After hearing his most recent CD, All I Need is Here, I’ve learned that he’s also a thoughtful and creative songwriter. His new CD, on the EMI/Worship Together label, goes beyond the “norm” in everything from melodies to production to packaging. His lyrics aren’t among the most profound I’ve seen, but Michael is consciously trying to say something meaningful and biblical that draws our hearts to the glory of Christ and our responsibility to love and obey …

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Worship Songs for the Persecuted Church

I received this question from a Worship Matters reader: We’re having a missions conference in our church in Northern Ireland towards the end of November. The theme is the persecuted church. Have you any songs or sources you could recommend on this theme? I am keen to find songs that allow us to pray for and stand with our brothers and sisters and allow us to fulfill the command of Hebrews 13:3 ‘Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.’ Here are a few that came to mind: A Mighty Fortress is Our God – “let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also, the body …

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Bruce Springsteen on Meaning and Purpose

Bruce Springsteen is on tour again. I’ve never been a Springsteen fan, but his music has affected millions. Recently, Scott Pelley interviewed Springsteen for the TV show 60 Minutes. His concert was described as “part circus, dance party, political rally, and big tent revival.” Here’s a portion of the interview, street language unedited. “You have got to be, wild guess, worth somewhere north of 100 million dollars. Why are you still touring? You don’t have to do this,” Pelley remarks. “What else would I do? You got any clues?” Springsteen asks. “Got any suggestions? I mean, am I going to garden? Why would you stop? I mean, you play the music …

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How Do We Make Room for the Gift of Prophecy?

I received this question from Mark: “While we are Southern Baptist, we are definitely reformed in our theology. We also do not believe that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased. When we were attending the Worship God conference , we were moved by those who shared from the prophecy mic. It was an incredible part of our worship to hear scripture, illustrations and such. Can you share with me how you introduced that to your church? Any guidance and input you could give would be great as we pray and seek God’s leadership in introducing this to our people. There’s no question that this is scriptural. But, we want to make sure we present this …

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Sin and Sunday Morning

Joel Osteen was interviewed by Byron Pitts on 60 Minutes this past Sunday. I didn’t see the program but was able to watch it at CBS News Online. I recognize that the media can distort what someone actually says. But taken at face value, the interview was concerning. Here’s one portion from the transcript: “You said ‘I like to see myself as a life coach, a motivator to help them experience the life of God that God has for them. People don’t like to be beat down and told ‘You’ve done wrong.’ What do you mean?” Pitts asks. “Well, I think that most people already know what they’re doing wrong. And for me to get in here and just beat ‘em …

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Looking for Worship Conference Seminar Ideas

Every so often I turn to the readers of WorshipMatters to help me with ideas. Right now I’m planning our next worship conference, WorshipGod08, which will be held July 30-Aug. 2, 2008, here at Covenant Life Church. The theme will be “Rediscovering the Psalms.” We’ll be looking at how the Psalms inform, direct, and inspire our worship, specifically addressing how we can benefit more from the example of the Psalmists’ relationship with God. Some of the main speakers are confirmed, but I’m still working on the final list. Also, I’m waiting to hear back from Matt Redman. He almost came in 2006 but was unable to make it work. I’m in the middle …

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Our God Saves by Paul Baloche

I met Paul Baloche about ten years ago when we were both part of a panel at the GMA (Gospel Music Association) week. We actually met back in 1985, although I didn’t find out about it until 1998. Paul had just become a Christian and Rita had persuaded him to attend a Christian conference in the Philadelphia area where some guy was teaching a session on writing songs for worship. That guy happened to be me. I’ve joked with Paul that I should probably be getting a cut of his royalties since what he learned at that seminar has probably been a key part of his success all these years… Paul is a humble man. We’ve talked about the unfortunate ending …

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