Archive | December, 2011

Now Why This Fear – Video from WorshipGod11

One of my favorite songs from our most recent album, The Gathering,  is Now Why This Fear. Doug Plank adapted the words from the hymn “Now When This Fear and Unbelief” by Augustus Toplady. Toplady (1740-1778) was a strong, if sometimes contentious, defender of Calvinism. More importantly, he tirelessly preached the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning work for our sins. This hymn, like Rock of Ages, encourages believers to rest completely in the finished work of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. It’s the news that never grows old. I asked Doug Plank to share a few thoughts on the how he came to update Toplady’s hymn. “From Whence this …

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Come Praise and Glorify – Video from WorshipGod11

Yesterday, I posted the video of Shine into Our Night from WorshipGod11. The second song we’ve finished editing is Come Praise and Glorify. I wrote this with Tim Chester, a pastor in Sheffield, UK, who has written over 20 books (including Total Church, You Can Change, and A Meal with Jesus). The fact that I wrote a song with Tim is purely providential. I was leading the music at the New Word Alive conference this past April and happened to stay in a flat with Tim and his wife, Helen. I thoroughly enjoyed a couple late night chats with Tim and after I got home he sent me some of the songs he had written that they sang at his church. One of …

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Song for Advent: Shine Into our Night

Each year as Christmas approaches we have the opportunity to remember in a more focused and thoughtful way why Jesus had to come to earth. It wasn’t plan B, it wasn’t optional, and it certainly wasn’t something we asked for. Paul tells us, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Gal. 4:4-5) The phrase “under the law” means we were justly condemned as transgressors and rebels before God, held captive by our sin, and in need of His mercy and forgiveness (Rom. 3:19-20). Of course, God did better than …

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Joy – An Irish Christmas by Keith and Kristyn Getty

Keith and Kristyn Getty are a musically gifted couple that do a few things really well. Those things include providing the church with songs that are theologically thoughtful, Christ-exalting, and likely to last a long time. Now they’ve provided us with a new album, Joy – An Irish Christmas, that displays those attributes in the context of Christmas carols, both old and new. Keith reflects on why Christmas carols are more than just sentimental songs at the end of the year: We would do well as worship leaders to remember that non-churchgoers are far more inclined to attend a church service during the Christmas season where songs are easy …

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Desiring God Interview

Last month I had the privilege to lead a few songs at John Piper’s Gravity and Gladness seminar, and participate in a Q&A with Dr. Piper. It was somewhat of a surreal experience sitting next to John answering questions about worship. I first heard the audio of John preaching this series around 2000. As I listened to him again I realized how much his message of both knowing and treasuring the supremacy of God’s glory in Christ has affected my thinking. So grateful for the ways God has used John to magnify the glory of Jesus Christ. After the seminar was over, Jonathan Parnell, content strategist for Desiring God, asked me a few questions …

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The Piano in Contemporary Worship, Part 2

Here’s the second part of the pre-conference piano seminar I led at WorshipGod11, focused on playing with a band. Dave Campbell and Neil Stuckenschneider helped me out on guitar and bass. I’ve included the outlines notes after the video. Playing with a Band Be aware of the audio spectrum. Guitars – 80-880 Hz Bass – 40-260 Hz Vocals – 110-660 Hz Piano – 27-4200 Hz Fills. Distinct and memorable Don’t tread on others Octaves Use your LH wisely. With the bass player Around the bass player More with just a guitar, acting like a kick drum Not at all Acoustic piano vs. electric keyboard More overtones …

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