Archive | Books, CDs, Websites

Help Us Translate Worship Matters into Spanish!

Since my book, Worship Matters, first came out in 2008, I’ve been greatly encouraged and humbled to hear how God has used it in the lives of planners, pastors, leaders, and musicians to promote singing in the church that is theologically aware, gospel driven, emotionally engaged, Spirit-empowered, and life changing. The core of the book unpacks a definition for a “worship leader.” While I don’t think God has a specific job description for that role in Scripture, the almost universal use of the term led me to come up with a definition I trust is faithful to the Bible. I blogged on it years ago here, but eventually landed on this definition: A …

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The Songwriting Process – Prepare Him Room

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Neil DeGraide, Steve Cook, and my son, Devon, to talk about different aspects of our new Christmas album, Prepare Him Room. One topic we discussed was the songwriting process. Songs rarely come instantaneously. And that can be an encouraging thought for someone currently in the midst of writing a song that sounds remarkably mediocre. When we hear a song on an album we have no idea of the dozens of hours of labor, thought, editing, prayer, conversation, and study that went into it. We only hear the finished product. So in the video below we take time to talk about some of the things that went into …

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“O Holy Night” Revisited

A few years ago, my friend, Kevin Hartnett, wrote two new verses for the classic and well-loved carol, “O Holy Night.” We ended up recording his version on our new album, Prepare Him Room. We called it O Holy Night (Hear the Gospel Story). Any time you mess with a “classic and well-loved” carol, you’re bound to get some questions. Why change something that has been popular for so many years? Why fix what ain’t broke? The original lyrics for “O Holy Night” were written in 1847 by Placide Capeau, a Frenchman, at the request of his parish priest. The author was so encouraged by what he had written that he asked his Jewish friend and composer, …

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Prepare Him Room Releases Today!

In June of 2013 I received an email from my friend, Marty Machowski. Marty serves on the pastoral team of Covenant Fellowship Church, a Sovereign Grace Church near Philadelphia. He has writes children’s books and devotionals, most notably The Gospel Story Bible. Marty asked me if Sovereign Grace Music wanted to produce an album to accompany an Advent devotional and curriculum he had written for New Growth Press. I was instantly intrigued by the idea. Our first and only Christmas album, Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man, came out in 2006 and I thought we were long overdue for another Christmas project. Marty’s devotional had …

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The Unbelievable – Acoustic Preview

This coming Monday, Sept. 29, our second Christmas album, Prepare Him Room, is coming out. And we’re pretty excited. I’ve been breaking all my rules for “no Christmas music before Thanksgiving” and loving it. In preparation for the album, we’ve put together four acoustic videos to preview some of the songs. They aren’t the versions that went on the album, but they give you an idea of what to expect. The Unbelievable is the fourth video we recorded, written by my good friends Steve and Vikki Cook. We’re so familiar with nativities, carols, and the Christmas story, that we often lose the sense of awe, wonder, and amazement that the incarnation …

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Prepare Him Room – A Video Preview

This is the third video we put together in anticipation of our upcoming Christmas album, Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus in Song, due out Sept. 29. It’s the title track, Prepare Him Room, and was written by Rebecca Elliott and Dave Fournier. They started it at our songwriter retreat back in January and after a number of revisions came up with the current version. The lyrics are loosely based on Luke 2:25-35, where Simeon meets the newborn Christ. The last line added to the song was this one in vs. 3: “Through the cradle, cross, and grave see the love of God displayed.” I love the way it succinctly brings together the significance …

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He Who is Mighty – Video Preview

I know it’s a little early to be talking about Christmas songs, but the last few weeks I’ve been listening to the tracks of our upcoming album, Prepare Him Room. I am so excited for you to hear these songs. We’ll be releasing the digital album on Sept 29 (not Sept 1 as I previously wrote) and the physical CD at the same time. As I explained in an earlier post, this album came about through the request of my good friend, Marty Machowski. He had written an Advent curriculum and devotional, Prepare Him Room, and wondered if we wanted to record an album to accompany it. We were more than happy to do so. In anticipation of the full release …

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Who Would Have Dreamed – Christmas Album Preview

We released our first Christmas album, Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man, in 2006. A few years ago I started thinking we should do another one. After all, we can never have too many songs that help us reflect on and celebrate the wonder of Jesus becoming Emmanuel, God with us. So I was intrigued last fall when my good friend, Marty Machowski, asked if Sovereign Grace Music would be interested in producing a Christmas album to accompany an Advent curriculum he had written. After a few conversations with Marty and his publisher, New Growth Press, we decided it would be a great opportunity. The result was our next album, …

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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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And the Winners of “30” Are…

Yesterday people had an opportunity to win a pre-release copy of 30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church by leaving a comment describing their favorite Sovereign Grace Music song. When we’re writing songs and putting albums together we always pray God would use our music to magnify the glory of Christ and the gospel to strengthen the church. As I read through the comments I was moved to hear how God has been doing just that in specific ways. It was difficult, but I picked 5 winners based on content and then chose 5 at random. Here are the 5 stories I picked, with a few thoughts on why I chose them. Caleb Mathews – All I Have is Christ I …

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Win a Pre-Release Download of “30”

We’re pretty excited about our new album, 30, available for pre-order tomorrow for only $7. It’s a collection of 14 more well known Sovereign Grace songs that some of our friends have recorded for us, including Paul Baloche, Kristyn Getty, Austin Stone Worship, Aaron Keyes, Matt Papa, Matt Boswell, and more. You can find more details here. The official release is next Tuesday, April 8, at the Together for the Gospel conference. CDs will be available from the Sovereign Grace Online store starting Tuesday, April 15. But you can enter to win a free download today and hear it before anyone else! All you have to do is: 1. Leave a comment …

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Coming Soon – 30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church

30: Three Decades of Songs for the Church is the newest album from Sovereign Grace Music. The idea for this album came as we were talking about how we might celebrate God’s faithfulness to Sovereign Grace Music for the past thirty years. It was in 1984 that we released our first project, a live cassette, entitled Mighty God. Since that time we’ve recorded over 60 projects and over 500 songs.  Those include 3 kids CDs, 1 rap album, 4 Spanish CDs, a remix album, and a slew of worship albums. Neil DeGraide, a member of Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, a great musician, and a good friend, suggested we ask musicians we’ve come to know and …

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A New Look for Worship Matters

  If you’re reading this by email or an RSS feed you probably won’t notice that Worship Matters has a new look. It’s something I’ve been hoping to do for a few years now, but like many projects on my plate, they take a little longer than I expect. David Rojas has patiently helped me get this new theme up and I can’t say enough about what a joy it’s been to work with him. David was born in Jerusalem, the sixth in a family of fourteen children. Although a computer technician by trade, his heart’s desire is to serve the Lord in missions to unreached people groups. He currently resides in the State of Virginia and works as a …

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All Sovereign Grace Albums on Bandcamp $5 Today!

In the spirit of CyberMonday, we’re selling all our digital albums on Bandcamp today for only $5. That’s right. 5 bucks. That means you can get Grace Has Come (Deluxe Edition), From Age to Age, The Gathering, El Dios Que Adoramos, Together for the Gospel Live II, Risen, Valley of Vision, Sons & Daughters, Upward, Psalms, King of Grace, and more all for only $5. That includes accompaniment trax too. It’s also a great time to get any one of our three kids albums, Awesome God, To Be Like Jesus, and Walking with the Wise. And don’t forget out Christmas album, Savior! If you think someone else might like Christ-exalting, theologically …

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It’s Your Grace – The Acoustic Sessions

A few weeks ago we posted the first song from “The Acoustic Sessions,” Our Only Hope is You. These are going to be stripped down versions of songs we’ve recorded on Sovereign Grace albums. We’re starting with songs from Grace Has Come, our latest release, but plan on going back to other albums and recording arrangements that are easier for a smaller church, or any church for that matter, to adapt. In this video, Devon, McKenzie, and Jonatan offer a simpler version of the song, It’s Your Grace. I wrote this song with Doug Plank, a good friend and a pastor at Crossway Church of Lancaster, PA. Right before he left for a two week trip …

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