Archive | December, 2009

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Thoughts on the ESV Study Bible (now that I’ve read it)

In October of 2008, I posted that my goal was to read through the ESV Study Bible and notes (excluding the articles at the end) by the end of 2009. It took a little extra time this past week, but I finished Revelation 22 today. In my post last year, I gave ten reasons why I appreciate the ESV Study Bible. I mentioned the pastorally sensitive, gospel-centered notes, the excellent charts and illustrations, the additional articles, and the translation itself. Reading it through this past year (15 months, actually), has only confirmed all I said previously. There are certainly other ways to read the Bible than “in one year.” But let me tell …

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How Can Worship Matters Serve You More Effectively?

Like many of you, I’m in the midst of reflecting on 2009 and planning for 2010. One of my goals is to make Worship Matters more effective in serving the folks who read it. That’s you. If you’re involved in leading corporate worship in your church or ministry, I’m especially interested in knowing anything I can do that would make this blog better. Some changes I want to make include: more consistent posts (duh) more music and book reviews more interviews from pastors, theologians, and musicians more analysis of current trends or events blog redesign free resources tab Could you take a moment to comment below and tell me what …

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Sons & Daughters Nominated for Best Worship Project of 2009

Every year Worship Leader magazine announces its “Reader’s Choice” awards. They give their readers a limited list, and ask them to choose their favorite artists, songs, and albums from the previous year. This year I was happy to learn that Sons & Daughters was nominated for two categories: Best Worship Project and Best Compilation Project. I have mixed feelings about Christians giving out awards to each other, especially in the music world. On the one hand, I know awards are an attempt to recognize and promote what most people think is worthwhile, beneficial, or glorifying to the Lord. That’s great. We’re to give honor to whom honor is …

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One Quiet Moment

A few years ago I wrote a Christmas song for GLAD (my previous musical life) that reflected on Joseph and Mary’s humble submission in accepting their part in God’s plan of salvation. Hard to imagine the difficulty of that decision. But so grateful to God that they responded. The music seems a little dated to me now, but the truth of the lyrics still affects me. At the end, you can listen to/download the song. One Quiet Moment One quiet moment, on a star-clustered night, Two weary travelers knew an end was in sight; So the soon-to-be mother, grasped her husband’s strong hand, And paused to remember where the journey began. Nine months …

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Looking Back at WorshipGod09

As I review the past year, one of my highlights was definitely WorshipGod09: From Generation to Generation, featuring John Piper, C.J. Mahaney, Jeff Purswell, Thabiti Anyabwile, Keith & Kristyn Getty, Shai Linne, Don Whitney, and many more. Over 1700 worshipers of God gathered for 3 1/2 days of singing, instruction, fellowship, and equipping. From the evaluations we got, God met us in wonderful and specific ways. We just put together a slide show (using Animoto) that gives you a sample of what took place at the conference. The soundtrack is The Father’s Love, from Sons & Daughters, the album that we released at the conference. If …

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When Snow Keeps the Church from Meeting

The blizzard of 2009 prevented our church from meeting this morning. We ended up having a few families from our neighborhood over for a time of singing and prayer, thanking God for all his gifts, especially sending his Son to redeem us. After that we chowed down on eggs and french toast. I appreciated what Josh Harris, our senior pastor, sent out to the church via email, and also posted on the church blog. It’s an example of grace-filled leadership that builds the church together, roots us in the gospel, and encourages grateful serving, even when we can’t meet. Which, come to think of it, is the way we should always be thinking. Well, I’m …

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“To Be Like Jesus” Contest

No, this isn’t a contest to see who can be the most like Jesus… Sovereign Grace Music is inviting families, individuals, children’s ministries, and whoever else is up for making a creative video to participate in a contest using our latest kids’ album, To Be Like Jesus. The prize is a $250 gift certificate to Amazon.com. Here’s what you have to do: 1. Order a copy of To Be Like Jesus from our online store as an album or a digital download. (You can skip this step if you already own one). 2. Make a video using one of the songs from the album. You can use an accompaniment track and provide your own vocals, or use one of the original songs. …

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Treasuring Christ Above All Things

My daughter, Brittany, sent me this video today. It’s by the folks at Desiring God, who excel at using technology in a creative way to draw attention to what’s being said. The content is part of a John Piper sermon set to techno music. Piper addresses the question, “How do we treasure Christ above all things?” which is at the heart of God-honoring worship. This is what we’re seeking to help people do every time we have the privilege of leading corporate worship. …

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Leading Worship and Biblical Counseling

If you lead worship, you may not think of yourself as a biblical counselor. Maybe that should change. Last month I had the joy of leading the singing at the CCEF conference. While I was there David Powlison asked if we could chat about the relationship between singing congregationally and biblical counseling. There are a number of ways those two activities don’t seem connected. We sing with a group, while biblical counseling usually involves 2-4 people. You don’t normally counsel people with music. You just talk about issues. Counseling is interactive, while in corporate worship the communication is generally from the leader to the congregation. But …

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A Few Christmas Songs Worth Checking Out

I know it’s late in the season, but I wanted to post some of the more solid Christmas songs, mostly for congregational worship, that I’ve come across this year. From my experience, Christmas carols are a mixed bag. Some beat around the “gospel bush” and hint at a universal brotherhood, while others clearly proclaim the good news that a Savior has been born to rescue rebellious sinners. I lean towards the second. Every year I’m on the lookout for new songs that express the wonder of the Incarnation in a fresh way. Here are a few that I’ve found this year. On Christmas Day – A song by Matt Osgood from www.RESOUNDworship.org that contains …

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