Archive | —Books

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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Another Crazy February Sale!

Every February we slash prices at the Sovereign Grace store. Why? Primarily, we want to give our churches an opportunity to stock up on resources for their bookstores at low prices. But we know there are a lot of other folks who want to use our materials and appreciate the cheaper prices. We want to make it as easy as possible for you and others to benefit from gospel-driven books and music. So this month, we’re taking 30% or more off every item in the store, while supplies last. U.S. shipping is free for for orders of $15 or more. Below are links to some of the deals that you might be most interested in. All Sovereign Grace Music CDs – …

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Invisible Gorillas and Humility

I just finished reading The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us, by Christopher Chablis and Daniel Simons. No, it’s not a Christian book, nor is it a book for people responsible for leading congregational worship (the target audience of my blog). But I think it’s relevant to both. The book was named for the video above. If you haven’t watched it, you should now. The authors describe the purpose of their book in the introduction: The Invisible Gorilla is a book about six everyday illusions that profoundly influence our lives: the illusions of attention, memory, confidence, knowledge, cause, and potential. These …

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Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

I’ve known Josh Harris for 12 years, but actually been a fan of his for much longer. Back in the mid-90’s he was publishing a magazine called New Attitude, which I thought was the hippest thing going for home schooling families. Today, he’s my senior pastor. His first book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, ended up selling a gazillion copies, and has blessed or disturbed (depending on your point of view) readers throughout the world. I personally found it very helpful for helping my 6 kids sort through the world’s confused, and often harmful, perspectives on relationships. Since then, Josh has written another book on relationships (Boy Meets Girl), …

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Christ-Centered Worship by Bryan Chappell – Book Review

Just finished Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice, by Bryan Chappell. Bottom line — if you’re responsible for leading, overseeing, or planning corporate worship in your church, you should read this book. Chappell divides the book into two sections, Gospel Worship and Gospel Worship Resources. A casual look at the Table of Contents could lead you to think the book is all about formal liturgies, and irrelevant for churches that come from a more “free” tradition. Not the case. In the first section he defines liturgy as “the public way a church honors God in its times of gathered praise, prayer, instruction, and commitment” …

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Crazy Sovereign Grace Music and Book Sale

We’re doing it again. Having a ridiculous sale, that is. Last year, during the month of February, we reduced the prices of our CDs and books. The response was overwhelming. So we decided to repeat the lunacy. Here’s the deal: From February 1–28, at the Sovereign Grace store, you’ll find these prices: Sovereign Grace books (23 of them, including Worship Matters, Worldliness, and Living the Cross Centered Life): $7 each all CDs produced by Sovereign Grace Music (including Together for the Gospel Live, Psalms, Come Weary Saints, Awesome God, In a Little While, and Valley of Vision): $6 each all books in our Pursuit of Godliness …

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When God Comes to Church

As 2008 turned over to 2009 I was in the midst of reading When God Comes to Church by Ray Ortlund, Jr. I didn’t want the year to get too far before I shared some great quotes from this book that came out in 2000. The first half of the book describes what God does to bring revival (comes down, reinvigorates, heals, pours out his Spirit, raises up, and restores).The second half describes what we can do to prepare the way (return, seek, humble ourselves). Each chapter is an expositional treatment of a specific Old Testament passage. Ortlund begins with, “Revival is a season in the life of the church when God causes the normal ministry of …

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Is Talent Overrated?

I just finished reading Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, by Geoff Colvin. Fascinating book. Giftedness is a topic that I’ve thought about a lot. Are we selling ourselves short by assuming that we’ll never be as good a keyboardist, vocalist, guitarist, drummer, or whatever, as the people we esteem? Colvin begins the book by examining the lives of several famous “greats,” including Tiger Woods, Mozart, Jack Welch, and Jerry Rice. He says that most people think their greatness arose either from a) hard work; or b) talent. Colvin says neither, and uses scientific and anecdotal evidence to support …

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Ten Reasons Why I Appreciate the ESV Study Bible

I received my ESV Study Bible a few weeks ago in the mail. I have to confess that the press releases raised my expectations pretty high. I mean how good can a study Bible be?

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More Quotes from John Flavel on the Excellency of Christ

Yesterday I posted some quotes I found in John Flavel’s book The Fountain of Life, written in 1671.  I regularly try to read old books because it introduces me to the perspective of godly saints who aren’t distracted or influenced by the technology, glitter, and philosophies of our current age.  Of course, they had their own issues to deal with and their own blind spots. But reading them in a different era helps me see more clearly what their blind spots were, as well as expose a few of my own. In any case, here are some more quotes that I found enlightening and helpful. I’ve added some personal thoughts at the end of each one. Security …

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The Excellency of Christ: Quotes from John Flavel

Got back yesterday from the Straight Up conference at Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, IL. I was there with CJ Mahaney, who spoke on “A Divine Perspective” from 1 Cor. 1:1-9. I’ve probably heard that message 5-6 times and never tire of being challenged to notice more of what God is doing in those around me, as Paul did with the Corinthian church. I had the privilege of leading worship and teaching a seminar on The Task of the Worship Leader. It was great meeting some folks who read this blog, and I had the opportunity to reconnect with my friends Andi Rozier, Matt Stowell, and Matthew Westerholm, who came to WorshipGod06 and WorshipGod08. Very …

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Learn more about the ESV Study Bible

ESV Study Bible One Week Away

I’ve been using the English Standard Version as my primary Bible for about six years and have benefited from its clarity, faithfulness to the original languages, and its beauty. Here’s Crossway’s explanation of why they published the ESV in the first place: The goal and vision of the ESV Study Bible is, first and foremost, to honor the Lord—in terms of the excellence, beauty, and accuracy of its content and design; and in terms of helping people come to a deeper understanding of the Bible, of the Gospel, and of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Crossway is a not-for-profit publishing ministry and all receipts from the ESV Study Bible go …

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Recommended Books from WorshipGod08

At the WorshipGod08 conference we recommended and then gave away a number of books. I told the attendees that our purpose was not simply to buy books but to build a library (a phrase I stole from CJ Mahaney, who has used it for years). I wanted to post those books here, in the hopes that if you weren’t at the conference you might consider getting them anyway. This list includes books that were recommended in the main sessions as well as books that were recommended in some of the seminars. Theology of the Psalms How to Read the Psalms – Tremper Longman III Great introduction to understanding the Psalms. Transformed by Praise – Mark Futato Explores …

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A Psalms CD, a Song Book, and a Few Other Things

I had hoped to post something on spontaneous songs and choirs this week but never got to it. That will be next week now. I’ve been working on a new songbook we hope to have ready by the WorshipGod conference. It will contain 71 songs from our last six projects. Unlike our downloadable piano scores, which are more like the studio arrangement, our songbooks contain simpler versions that are great for just learning the basic song. Roger Hooper, a member of Covenant Life and an amazing musician and synth player, sends me two staff versions of the songs in Sibelius and then I edit them. It can be difficult to reduce an entire band to a two staff piano …

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Sovereign Grace CDs and Books for Ridiculous Prices — and Free Shipping

So yesterday I’m sitting in my office and I receive an email from Pat Ennis, the executive director of Sovereign Grace Ministries. It’s brief and to the point. He says he wants to reduce the price of our Pursuit of Godliness books and all our CDs to $6 and offer free domestic shipping. For a full month. He also says to come by his office if I want to appeal his plan. So I stop by and find him talking with Tommy Hill, the financial wizard of Sovereign Grace. I appeal that maybe we should consider $7. Nope. Not enough of a reduction in price. In fact, Pat ended up dropping the price of the books another dollar. The bottom line is this. From February …

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