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On God, Glory, Grace, and Grammys

As a professional musician for almost 40 years, I’m at least mildly interested in the Grammys each year. Who are the young artists that will be tomorrow’s legends? Where is music headed, if anywhere? What old artists are continuing to produce great music or making a comeback? Since this past Sunday, there’s been a disproportionate amount of online buzz about the show. I watched a part of it and was freshly grateful for a DVR with fast forward capabilities. In case you missed it, this year’s event included an overtly sensual duet between Beyoncé and Jay Z, a satanically influenced segment by Katy Perry, and a mass wedding for 30+ heterosexual …

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Shout to the Lord on American Idol

As a pastor and professional musician, I find American Idol interesting on a number of levels. It’s fascinating to see how a simple idea can capture the attention of millions, how people respond to evaluation, how people can be so misled about what they actually sound like, how ordinary people handle massive fame, the difference between gifting and hard work, and more. I also appreciate how some of the contestants have used the platform to bear witness to their faith in Christ. Melinda Doolittle, from last season, stood out for her humility, modesty, and joy. Yesterday, I had started a post on my response to Wednesday night’s program. It was …

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Looking for Translators

Sovereign Grace Ministries is one of a growing number of ministries (including Desiring God and 9Marks) working with and supporting Open Source Mission. The goal of OSM is to build a community of volunteer translators who will collaborate to make gospel-centered resources available in as many languages as possible. Once the books or articles are translated, the finished translations will be available online for free at gospeltranslations.org. It will function like Wikipedia, but instead of producing encyclopedia entries, the content will be translations of Christian books and articles. Because the majority of Christian materials are published …

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New Look for Worship Matters

Welcome to the new look of Worship Matters, designed by my son-in-law, Kerrin Russell. Kerrin is married to my oldest daughter, Megan. Not only is he a godly husband and dad, he’s a true servant. It helps that he’s great at solving computer problems and fixing things. The most recent example is my blog site. Kerrin was the one who originally suggested I start a blog, and over the past year or so he’s been wanting me to update the look. Knowing that I’d never get to it, he did it himself. BTW, the pictures in the banner were taken by my 18 year old daughter, Brittany, who runs a design and photography business with her older sister, Megan. We’re …

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Worship Leaders – How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways

This morning the Washington Post business section ran a column called, “To Me, With Love: Retailers Embrace Valentine’s Day as an Excuse for Singles to Celebrate Themselves.” Among other interesting facts, the article reports that Piperlime, an online shoe store owned by Gap, has a “Be your own Valentine” category. Sales are strong for Valentine’s Day gifts you can give to the person you love the most – yourself. You may not have the nerve to give a Valentine’s gift to yourself, but you’re probably no stranger to self-love. There is an appropriate way to humbly acknowledge that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14). However that …

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What Ted Haggard Has Taught Me About Sin

No doubt you’ve been following the recent events concerning Ted Haggard. After being publicly accused of engaging in illegal drug use and sexual immorality for three years, and acknowledging at least part of it to be true, he was dismissed as pastor of 14,000 member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, the church he founded twenty-one years ago. He also resigned as head of the National Association of Evangelicals, said to represent some 30 million Christians. If you haven’t seen it, his statement of confession, read to his church this past Sunday, can be found here. Over the past few days, I’ve kept up on the news, read a number of comments …

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