Tag Archives | Psalms

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The Winners of Psalm Songs, Vol. 1

Thanks to everyone who left a comment on my last post about Psalm Songs, Vol. 1. It was so encouraging to read how God has used various Psalms in people’s lives. It reminded me how God gave us the Psalms to help us not only pray and sing to him but to know him better. There really is no emotion or circumstance we go through that isn’t addressed in some way in the Psalms. These are the five comments I picked for their impact and creativity: In the darkest night of my soul, I challenged God to prove His existence. “Though the mountains fall into the heart of the sea” suddenly resounded in my mind. It brought me to Psalm 46. Verse 10 …

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A New Soundtrack for the Psalms

A few weeks ago I came across an album called Psalm Songs, Vol. 1, put out by The Corner Room, aka Adam Wright. I hear hundreds of albums each year and when one stands out, it’s obvious. Psalm Songs stands out. These aren’t congregational songs, but Scripture songs, word for word from the English Standard Version. It’s really difficult to set longer Biblical passages to music without making it sound forced and un-musical. Adam and friends overcame those obstacles. Combining elements of bluegrass, new country, pop music, and folk, these songs are musically fresh, skillfully played, and a joy to listen to. After listening to the …

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Psalms CD on Sale

Recently, we received some good news. Worship Leader magazine picked our Psalms album as one of the “Best of the Best” products for 2009. We were pretty surprised, especially since we released the album in August 2008. But hey, we’re not going to complain. To celebrate, we’ve dropped the price for the Psalms CD to $8 (33% off our usual price) through the end of November. You can also download the digital album for $6 (25% off). As always, U.S. orders over $15 get free shipping. Psalms contains twelve songs echoing the passion, prayers, and praises of the psalmists. If you haven’t heard it yet, you can preview it with a free download of …

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The Legacy of Asaph – Learning to Sing in the Same Room

Yesterday I referred to the message I gave on The Future of Worship at WorshipGod09:From Generation to Generation, I spoke from Ps. 78:1-8 and shared the story of Asaph. My first point was that God commands us to tell the coming generations what he has done. Psalm 78 is a maskil of Asaph, and one of 12 Psalms ascribed to Asaph. Whether Asaph actually wrote them or not, we can’t be sure. But one thing we can be sure of is that his influence lasted for centuries. Asaph ministered at the tabernacle as a Levite. When David recaptured the ark of the covenant and returned it to Jerusalem, Asaph was appointed by the other Levites “to raise sounds …

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“Psalms” CD nominated!

We just learned that Worship Leader magazine has included our Psalms CD as one of six choices for the “Best Worship Compilation CD” for 2008. Boy, were we surprised. There in the midst of Passion, CeCe Winans, and WOW Gospel, is Sovereign Grace Ministries. There are six CDs in the category, and I’d like to think you might vote for Psalms.  Please check the other great CDs listed; but if you think Psalms merits the title, your vote could mean more people becoming aware of our music.  Voting ends on December 31! In any case, we’re grateful for the opportunity to produce music that serves the church and magnifies the greatness of our Savior; …

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Christianity Today Reviews Psalms CD

Yesterday I learned that Andree Farias of Christianity Today Online reviewed our latest CD, Psalms. It’s the second Sovereign Grace CD he’s reviewed. Last month he also reviewed Looked Upon, a project that my sons Devon and Jordan were involved in. While I don’t always agree with everything in the CT reviews, I appreciate that they give specific reasons and examples for what they like and dislike about a project. Along with providing exposure, reviews also tell us something about what we’re doing right and what we can do better. Andree summarized the CD in these words: Sounds like … melodic corporate worship that recalls Matt Redman, Charlie …

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Glorious and Mighty Choral Arrangment

One of the highlights of WorshipGod08, and there were many, was the conference choir singing Glorious and Mighty on the last morning. Based on Psalm 96, it’s a song written by Todd Twining and Joel Sczebel, with some lyric tweaking by me. Unfortunately, the audio/video didn’t turn out that well, so I wont’ be posting them. But a number of people have requested the arrangement and it’s finally available. The version I arranged for the conference didn’t have any piano part, just the voices. So I added a basic piano accompaniment if you’re just using piano. I think it sounds best with a full band backing it, though. UPDATED CHOIR PARTS (10/03/08): …

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Friday Night at WorshipGod08 – David Powlison on the Imprecatory Psalms

On Tuesday, I posted on the first part of the Friday evening session at WorshipGod08. In the final part of the evening I asked biblical counselor David Powlison to speak on the psalmists’ concern for God’s glory on the earth, expressed in the imprecatory psalms. Those are the prayers in the psalms asking God to punish, restrict, or destroy the wicked. For centuries, Christians have tended to confuse, ignore, or despise them. David’s comment on the imprecatory psalms were wonderfully biblical, insightful, and pastoral. He rephrased the focus to be the psalmists’ concern for what we do with evil. You can download an MP3 here. David shared that …

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Friday Night at WorshipGod08 – Praising God with the Psalmist

We’ve finally posted portions of what took place Friday night at the WorshipGod08 conference. The purpose of this session was largely practical. I asked the question, “How do we become churches, congregations, that more accurately, naturally, and consistently, model the kind of relationship the Psalmists had with God?” I set it up by saying we were going to look at four concerns the Psalmists had that we should have as well. We looked at: what we do with our bodies what we do with our minds what we do with our trials God’s glory on the earth We ended up dividing the night into two “messages.” The first message includes the first …

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WorshipGod08 Opening Video

WorshipGod08 began with a video. It wasn’t anything dramatic or multi-sensory. We just wanted to point people’s attention to the theme of the conference, “Rediscovering the Psalms.” Different passages from four Psalms (96, 103, 40, 145) were read by people from five nationalities to communicate the relevance of the Psalms to all peoples and cultures. Jacob Campbell, a member of Covenant Life Church, did a great job putting the video together for us. Roger Hooper, another member of Covenant Life, composed the score. Since I’ve had requests from many people to see it again, here it is. If you’re interested, you can download the Quicktime …

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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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Thoughts from Mark Dever and David Powlison

Yesterday I posted answers to two questions I asked the speakers who will be addressing us at next week’s WorshipGod08 conference. The questions were: “What do you hope will be filling people’s minds and hearts as they walk away from your message?” and “How do you hope your message will change the way they think about the Psalms and worshiping God?” Today I wanted to share two more responses, this time from Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church, and David Powlison, author and biblical counselor with the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. Mark Dever (Glorifying Christ with the Psalmist) I pray that people …

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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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Working on Another CD, Passing the Baton

Last week I was in the Sovereign Grace studio with producer Sal Oliveri, recording the vocals for our next project, Psalms, due out at the WorshipGod08 conference in July. I can’t believe we’re already working on another CD when Come Weary Saints just came out. Any way, it was a long but fulfilling week. Ryan Baird, from the Sovereign Grace church in Pasadena, CA, and part of the band West Coast Revival, sang five songs, and brought his usual blend of passion, strength, and thoughtfulness to each song. He also entertained us at times with his brilliant impersonations. Here’s a sample of Kermit singing part of “Greater Than We Can Imagine,” …

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Addressing One Another in Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

This past Sunday I had the privilege of speaking at Solid Rock Church, the Sovereign Grace church in Riverdale, Maryland, not far from where I live. I spoke on Eph. 5:15-21 and called the message, “Spirit-filled Singing.” I shared six characteristics of singing that are a result of being filled with the Spirit. My first point was “Spirit-filled singing is to each other,” and based on Eph. 5:19 where Paul says we’re “addressing one another.” You’d think in a passage about singing praise to God that Paul would begin with God. He doesn’t. The first focus of our singing Paul mentions is not God, but one another. Col. 3:16 fills this idea out …

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