Archive | January, 2011

“Grace Is Not Earned” – Free MP3 from Kate Simmonds

Nathan Fellingham, a good friend and member of the UK group Phatfish, recently made me aware of an EP he produced by Kate Simmonds. One of the songs, “Grace Is Not Earned,” does a great job unpacking the meaning of grace in a Christian’s life. Several things I appreciate about this song. It makes us aware grace is the work of the Triune God. It has a singable and memorable melody. It references Christ crucified and risen (the means of grace) clearly. It loudly proclaims our freedom from sin, deliverance from condemnation, and acceptance by the Father. Great song. Nathan generously said I could give away the song and guitar chart here on Worship …

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Interview with Greg Hagan on Becoming a Better Guitarist, PT 2

Yesterday, I posted Greg Hagan’s answers to two questions about how to become a better guitarist. Greg not only has years of experience using his gifts to honor God, he’s able to articulate what helped him grow as a player. He’s a great example of a life-long learner, described in Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” Here are the other two questions I asked Greg to answer. What 3 practices have most helped you grow as a guitarist? 1. Listening and visualizing the fretboard. As you imagine a guitar part or melody, or listen to a recording, visualize …

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Interview with Greg Hagan on Becoming a Better Guitarist, PT 1

The main guitarist for our upcoming Risen album (due out in mid-March) was Greg Hagan. Greg lives in Nashville and when he’s not playing in the studio also tours and has had years of experience leading congregational worship in his local church. I appreciated his work ethic, his knowledge of chord voicings, his proficiency in different styles, and his sense of melody. But he’s not only a versatile and phenomenal player. He’s a humble man and was an absolute joy to work with. I also learned that Greg had attended a GLAD concert when he was a teenager that helped open his eyes to the ways different kinds of music can be used to glorify God. …

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WorshipGod11: The Gathering

Even though it’s still eight months away, I’m in the middle of planning for WorshipGod11, to be held Aug. 10-13, 2011 at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD. This year’s theme will be “The Gathering.” The idea crystalized while I was reading Bryan Chapell’s excellent book, Christ-Centered Worship. When most of us plan our meetings we tend to think in separate categories – the songs, the announcements, creative elements, the message, communion, ministry time, etc. Chapell makes a strong case for having a gospel mindedness that affects not only what we do but how we put it all together. In other words, every time we meet a clear gospel …

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Esther – An Original Musical

Last year the high school students at my church put on an original musical based on the book of Esther, Queen of Persia. It was written by Martin and Janice Landry, with an original score provided by Martin. Janice happens to be the daughter of the director, Cathy Mays. Cathy has been directing and writing musicals at Covenant Life for years now. All six of my children have been a part of the shows she’s directed, and I know of few people who make acting such a spiritually beneficial experience. I was particularly impressed with this latest production. The songs are memorable, the script is engaging, and the message of God’s sovereign …

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We Have a Winner

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my previous post casting their vote for the most creative arrangement of a song from our King of Grace album. As many of the commenters said, it was difficult picking which arrangement  was the best, creatively speaking. But the overwhelming first choice was Joshua Spacht’s arrangement of “Behold the Lamb,” by Mark Altrogge. Joshua has served as the Director of Music and Worship Ministries at Grace Immanuel Bible Church since May, 2006. He sent me some information about his background that I thought was worth sharing: I grew up in a very musical family outside of Erie, PA where my father served …

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Help Us Pick the Winner of our King of Grace Contest

Thanks to the over 20 people who submitted entries for our 10th Anniversary King of Grace contest! The assignment was to come up with a new arrangement of one of the songs from the album. These are the six videos we think are the best. Leave a comment by midnight, Jan. 12, and let us know which one you think is the most creative arrangement that also complements and supports the song. I’ll announce the winner this Thursday, Jan. 13. and they’ll receive two free registrations to WorshipGod11. Video #1 At The Foot of the Cross (Steve & Vikki Cook), arr. by Anthony Beltrez Video #2 In My Heart (Eric Grover), arr. by Teresa Thomas Video …

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