Archive | Bob’s Updates

Posts about Bob’s life.

What I’ve Been Up To

Not writing this blog, obviously. At some point I hope to start posting regularly again, but right now I wanted to share what’s been going on in the world of Sovereign Grace Music. The Dominican Republic and a New Spanish Album I got back last night from the Dominican Republic where I had the joy of speaking twice this past weekend at the Por Su Causa (For His Cause) conference, “Worship: The Purpose of Redemption.” The conference was sponsored by International Baptist Church (IBI) and a ministry called Integridad y Sabiduría (Integrity and Wisdom), both led by my good friend, Miguel Núñez. Jeff Purswell and Donald Whitney also …

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Redeeming Valentine’s Day – A Story of Grace

Forty two years ago today, I gave a Valentine’s day card to Julie, who is now my wife. It sounds like a fairy tale romance. Two people find each other in high school, get married, and live happily ever after. That’s what happened, but the story didn’t start so well. And once you hear it, you’ll think more of Julie, less of me, and be more amazed by grace. I made the card at home. The front said, “Joy is not in things, but in us…” and on the inside, “And especially in you.” It was a moving sentiment, meant to encourage a girl I thought was a little withdrawn. I was the choir accompanist and senior class president and I figured any …

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Reflections on My Trip to the Philippines

In a previous post I shared the background to my recent trip to the Philippines. Here’s a follow up report. It’s long, I know, but this is the short version! The People Ten people ended up going on the trip. Representing Sovereign Grace Ministries were Steve Cook and myself, along with Jena Baumer, who is serving as an intern. We also brought the five guys in the Norton Hall band: my son Devon, Jonny Barahona, Jared Hoffman, Jacob Bozarth, and Jeff Dyke. It was a great opportunity to partner with the Division of Biblical Worship at Southern Seminary in gospel mission. The team also included Lynn Baird, a Sovereign Grace pastor who has been …

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Going to the Philippines

A couple years ago Cornelius Ebo, a pastor in the Philippines, came with his  family to spend ten months as part of the Sovereign Grace Pastors College. Cornelius, or Nilo, asked if I could come host a music/worship conference in the Philippines. At the time it seemed like a stretch. But as the Lord would have it, I’m heading to the Philippines next week. I’ll be joined by a number of folks including Steve Cook and Norton Hall, a band led by my son , Devon. Jena Baumer, an intern from Cedarville University will also be with us, as will Lynn Baird, his daughter Meghan, and a few others from Sovereign Grace Church of Pasadena. Sovereign …

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Reflections on Rezolution 2013

Last week, I traveled to South Africa for the first time and had the great joy of participating in Rezolution 2013, a series of conferences that took place in Johannesburg, Durban, and Capetown. I was there with 5 other guys from the States, CJ Mahaney, Ligon Duncan, Kevin DeYoung, Mark Dever, and Brad Wheeler. The event was led primarily by Tim Cantrell and Al Schuster from Antioch Church in Midrand, although a number of other pastors and churches were involved as well. I participated in a pastors’ conference in Capetown on Monday and Tuesday, another pastors’ conference in Johannesburg on Wednesday and Thursday, and the Rezolution 2013 conference …

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Moving to Louisville

In a little under two weeks my family and I will be moving to Louisville, KY. After thirty years of being in Gaithersburg, MD, Sovereign Grace Ministries, the family of churches that I serve, is relocating its offices. I’ve been here since 1997, so it’s understandably a bittersweet departure. But I’m filled with faith for what God has planned for the future. The Lord has been kind to us in Gaithersburg. We’ve been able to co-labor with Covenant Life Church to put on conferences of all types (including WorshipGod), host the Sovereign Grace Pastors College, and serve other Sovereign Grace churches in our region. For …

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Pastoring Through Song – Notes from Sydney

Here’s another message I shared in Australia at the one day TWIST Pastor’s Conference. I first gave this message in 2004 and called it “Corporate Worship as Pastoral Care.” The talk developed out of a realization that we can often be unaware of how God wants to use the lyrics of songs and how they’re led to care for people’s souls. We’re doing more than simply singing songs together when we gather, hoping for some “worshipful” or “anointed” moment to happen. The Holy Spirit is at work to encourage, impart faith, convict, and comfort as we “teach and admonish one another” through song. Here’s a brief outline of my message. You can download …

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Reflections on My Trip to Australia

The first ten days of October found me in Australia. It was my first time there. Hopefully not my last. I was hosted by Dave and Emma Taylor and their three charming kids, Josh, Amy, and Lydia. Dave pastors Sovereign Grace Church Sydney, now about one year old. It’s a church that evidences love for the Savior, for God’s Word, for each other, and for reaching their community with the gospel. Pure joy to hang out with them. I shared my itinerary in a previous post. Briefly, I spent time at Dave’s church, TWIST (The Word in Song Together) conferences in Brisbane and Sydney, a TWIST pastor’s conference, Moore college, an EMU Music songwriters …

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Interview with John Martin from Enfield

Recently I had the joy of being at the Resolved Conference in Palm Springs, CA, along with about 3500 mostly college students. We heard some great messages from Al Mohler, CJ Mahaney, Rick Holland, John MacArthur, and Steve Lawson. While I was there I took a few minutes to interview John Martin about his band, Enfield, who led the music at Resolved. Enfield is made up of John (piano and vocals), Lisa Martin (John’s wife on vocals), Patrick Anderson (guitars), Ryan Foglesong (bass/arranging/songwriting), David Zimmer (drums/arranging/songwriting), Paul Hoover on guitars, and Wil Pearce on various stringed instruments. They’re all gifted and …

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Lost Emails

It occurred to me a few weeks ago that I wasn’t receiving any emails through this my blog, that is, through the Contact Me tab above. We checked into it and sure enough, all the emails that came through Worship Matters were going into a spam folder. This has been going on since early January. Fortunately, it wasn’t as bad as the last time this happened, when we discovered 600+ emails that hadn’t come through. But we were able to retrieve those emails. Apparently whoever knows about this stuff was able to fix the problem but is unable to retrieve this recent batch. So if you’ve sent me a note in the past two months, I haven’t seen it. If …

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Leading in the Midst of Trials

I’ve been asked more than once how you can lead people in singing God’s praise when you’re going through your own personal trials. This past weekend I had the opportunity to find out first hand. I was out of town last week and on Wednesday morning received a call from my son, Jordan. He and his wife, Tali, have three young boys, and they’re currently living with us as Jordan attends the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College. “Dad, do you have a few minutes?” he asked. I wasn’t expecting what he said next. “We had to take Jack to the hospital last night. The doctors say he has cancer.” I had one of those moments when the world seems to stop …

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Reflections on Turning 55

55. A speed limit. Five years past half a century. LV. Double nickels. And today, my age. I finally qualify for the 10% senior discount at Jiffy Lube. I remember when 55 seemed really old. Right now it feels like the prime of life.  What does a 55 year old worship leader think about? Here’s a sample… 1. The years I have left for fruitful ministry are dwindling. Used to be I never thought much about death. Now I think about it at least weekly. Life is short, and it keeps getting shorter. I estimate I have between 10-20 more years of fruitful ministry, Lord willing. Then again, I may not live to see 2011. A lot to accomplish before …

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Lessons Learned From Three Decades of Leading

On Friday night at WorshipGod09, Jeff Purswell interviewed CJ Mahaney and me about some things we had learned over thirty years of leading, much of that together. From the early 90′s I was involved in leading the music at various Sovereign Grace conferences, and then in 1997 I became the worship pastor at Covenant Life Church, where CJ was senior pastor. CJ has been the most significant influence in my life when it comes to the focus and practicals of leading congregational worship. During the interview, Jeff asked us about different topics including the role of the senior pastor in planning/leading corporate worship, encouraging your …

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The Gifts I’m Most Thankful For

Just a little over thirty six years ago, I received the greatest gift I’ll ever receive: salvation from God’s wrath and adoption into his family through the gospel. After that, the gifts I’m most grateful for today are in the picture below, taken this past Thanksgiving. Six children, three spouses of my children, seven grandchildren, and one woman, Julie, who has brought me indescribable joy for over thirty two years. I can only say with the psalmist, “How precious is your steadfast love, O God!” (Ps. 36:7) In case you were wondering, our couch isn’t normally sitting out in the middle of a field. But it does make for a cool picture. And …

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John Piper Speaking at WorshipGod09

Even though 2008 isn’t finished yet, I’m in the midst of planning for our next worship conference, WorshipGod09: From Generation to Generation, to be held Aug. 5-8, 2009, in Gaithersburg, MD. The main messages will address the importance of passing on biblical values of corporate worship from one generation to the next. I was thrilled when John Piper of Desiring God Ministries agreed to come. He’ll be speaking Wednesday night and Thursday morning. I was also able to confirm my good friend, Jeff Purswell, as a main speaker. Jeff has served us well in the past by providing messages that are biblically rich, theologically insightful, and spiritually …

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