Tag Archives | lyrics

img_0541

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 …

Continue Reading 2

Helping People Glory in Christ at Christmas

This past Sunday I had the privilege of leading the singing at my home church. At Christmas time there’s sometimes a tension between choosing to sing songs that are “comfortably Christmasy” or songs that help people glory in the miracle of God becoming man. So here’s what we went with: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing Glory be to God free mp3 download (from the Savior CD) Emmanuel, Emmanuel (from the Savior CD) What Child is This? Before the Throne of God Above We started with Hark! the Herald Angels sing because it’s one of the most theologically rich Christmas carols we sing. After that, I shared that there are many things to love …

Continue Reading 10

Memorizing Great Hymns

Last month my church started memorizing great hymns of the faith. We’ll be memorizing a hymn a month for ten months. Ken Boer, who oversees music at Covenant Life, explains on the church website why we’re doing this: Memorizing hymns is one of the ways we can obey Scripture’s command to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16). We’re doing this project because we want to benefit not only from the songs written in our lifetime, but also from hymns that have served the people of God …

Continue Reading 12

Listening to Music for God’s Glory

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking to the parents and youth of my home church on the topic of listening to music for the glory of God. The parent/youth ministry is currently discussing the book, Wordliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World. My message was something of an adaptation of a chapter I wrote for the book, called “God, My Heart, and Music.” I started out by saying God gave us music as a gift to direct our attention to him. In the Bible, music is connected with worship, weddings, funerals, work, play, and war. The basic elements of rhythm, melody, and harmony aren’t inherently evil or sinful. Non-Christians can …

Continue Reading 17

What’s the Best Worship Song You’ve Learned Recently?

Just when I start thinking all the best worship songs have already been written (which I don’t really believe), I hear a new song that affects me profoundly. A friend recently sent me an email letting me know that he just taught his church My Soul Finds Rest (Ps 62) by Aaron Keyes and Stuart Townend. I have four categories for congregational worship songs. Must Use, Could Use, Personally Use, and Don’t Use. This is one that I’d put in my Must Use file. There are a number of reasons. It’s based on the Word of God (always a plus) The melody is memorable. The melody is creative. The harmonic progression is fresh. The meter is unique. …

Continue Reading

Thoughts on the Desiring God National Conference

I had the privilege of speaking at the Desiring God National Conference last Saturday morning. It was a whirlwind trip that I made with my daughter (and assistant) Chelsea. We got there for dinner on Friday and caught a 7 PM flight out on Saturday. It came at the end of our two week beach vacation, and I decided not to try that again. Too distracting. Chuck Steddom, a good friend from John Piper’s church, led the singing along with a team from his church. It was encouraging to hear them introduce “Praise the Lord,” a song from our recent Psalms CD. Sinclair Ferguson gave a message the first night called “The Tongue, the Bridle, and the …

Continue Reading 9

Why We Write Worship Songs

The feedback from the Valley of Vision CD we produced earlier this year has been very encouraging. But nothing is more meaningful than someone who takes the time to write and let us know how God has used the truth in the songs we write to make Him bigger in their eyes. I wanted to share a portion of a recent e-mail from Jessica that helped me remember why we continue to write songs for the church. This summer was a very difficult season for me, yet spectacular at the same time because God was deeply at work in me. Isn’t He always?!! I started to go through an intense time of panic attacks this summer, where I would literally feel fear and panic …

Continue Reading 2

What Kind of Emotion?

I attempted to post this yesterday, which was Friday, but we passed the day playing games, cutting down and decorating our Christmas tree, and enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers. Definitely time well spent. Travis Seitler asked a great question on a previous post. I’d sum up his question like this: “Should the fact that God describes his relationship with His people as husband and wife (Is. 54:5; 62:5; Rev. 21:2) ever be reflected in the words we sing to Him?” This is a challenging question to answer briefly, much less definitively, but here are a few thoughts. God is infinite, so we shouldn’t be surprised that the boundaries of language …

Continue Reading 7

So Much to Thank God For

When asked how he’s doing, my friend C.J. Mahaney often answers, “Better than I deserve.” He’s been responding that way for years, and it always reminds me that my sins far outweigh my trials. Yet God has dealt with my sins by punishing his own Son in my place. I will never know His righteous wrath. I will forever know the joy of His presence. So why don’t I have a more thankful attitude? I think my perspective is comprehensive, accurate, and authoritative. I think my complaining moves God. I think I’m ultimately responsible for my destiny. I think I’m immediately responsible for my justification before God. I think I rule everything …

Continue Reading 2

Avoiding Nonsense in Worship Songs

I don’t even know how I came across a book I read recently called, “And Now Let’s Move Into a Time of Nonsense: Why Worship Songs are Failing the Church.” It’s by Nick Page, a prolific UK author. What I do know is that I’m not aware of another book on congregational song that is as insightful, humorous, helpful, and brief (a real plus from my perspective). In only 121 pages, Nick covers a brief history of worship music, why the words we sing matter, how modern culture has influenced us, the importance of technique, the problem of language, and helpful suggestions for what we can do. Letters from a fictitious worship leader named Kevin Molecule …

Continue Reading 2

Songs for the Hard Times, Pt. 2

What do we sing when evil seems to be rampant and ongoing? This past Sunday Christians across the world observed a Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Over 200 million Christians daily face oppression, discrimination, torture, or worse, simply because they own the name of Jesus. In addition to taking time to pray for persecuted Christians, oppressive rulers, and the rest of the church, we expressed our prayers using Stuart Townend’s song, “How Long.” Those words echo the Psalmist’s struggle with God’s seeming unresponsiveness to the present prosperity and triumph of the wicked. How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile …

Continue Reading 0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes