Tag Archives | Sovereign Grace Ministries

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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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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What I Learned from Leading WorshipGod08

I think I’ve recovered from last week’s conference. What a joy to see so many folks come from so many different places to learn and experience what God has told us in the Psalms about worship. Although we barely scratched the surface of the topic, I think people went away encouraged and equipped, with plenty to think about and apply. After a few weeks, I’ll meet with the admin staff and talk about what worked and how we can serve people more effectively at the next WorshipGod conference in 2010. In the mean time, I wanted to share a few things I learned during the course of leading this year’s conference. 1. Having a detailed schedule really …

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How Does Music “Work” in Worship?

This is the third clip from a longer video in which Tim Smith, worship pastor from Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA, asked me various questions related to worship. In this portion, Tim asked me about the relationship between music and worship. In it I talk about some of the factors that have made music such a volatile issue in the church today, and different ways that Christians view music. Just scratching the surface here…If you want to dig deeper, I’d highly recommend you read Harold Best’s Music Through the Eyes of Faith. I read it in the mid-90′s and haven’t found anything as insightful, helpful, and biblically faithful. …

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For Future Generations

One of the reasons I wrote Worship Matters was not simply so that people would read it, which I hope they do, but so that it might serve as a training tool for future leaders. That’s why I dedicated the book this way: Ps. 71:18 has been a favorite verse of mine for years. It says, “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” God has kindly answered my prayer. (BTW, this picture comes courtesy of my oldest daughter, Megan, who posted it on her blog.) …

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There Still is Room – Brian Oaks CD, Only $5

I have a friend, Brian Oaks, whom I’ve only met by e-mail. He’s a guitarist now living in Nashville who made an indie CD a while back called There Still is Room. It’s a collection of redone hymns that I’ve really enjoyed. Great lyrics, nice guitar work and vocals. Brian was asking me what to do with the CDs sitting around in his house and I suggested that he offer them at a discount and I’d let people know about it. So he’s offering his CD for 5 bucks, including domestic shipping. These are the songs: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing My Faith Has Found a Resting Place The Savior Calls At the Name of Jesus Nothing but the Blood Great …

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Cheap CDs

In case you didn’t know, the Sovereign Grace sale on CDs and books continues. Through March we’re selling all Sovereign Grace CDs for the ridiculously low price of $6. You can download them for the same $6. Accompaniment CDs are going for $6, too. In addition our Pursuit of Godliness books are going for $5. Our printed music is really cheap, too. Our two volume songbook set is going for $40, all piano scores are a buck, and piano score sets from a CD are $6. And there’s free shipping in the U.S. for everything. I explain why we’re doing this in a previous post. …

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Evidences of Grace in the Blogosphere

Yesterday, the blogosphere became a better, more Gospel-centered, and funnier place. That’s because my mentor, friend, and hero CJ Mahaney started a blog on the Sovereign Grace website. The by-line is “C.J. Mahaney’s View from the Cheap Seats & Other Stuff.” His co-blogger is Tony Reinke, who not only has his own blog, but has recently been hired by Sovereign Grace to capture and export much of what CJ says and does. Although CJ has authored a number of books, his greatest gifts are in the speaking arena, publicly or privately. Today’s post, “Perceiving God’s Work,” is a great example of what Tony has been assigned to do, and the content …

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Another Reason to Sing About the Cross

I just finished reading Where Wrath and Mercy Meet, edited by David Peterson. It’s taken from a series of messages given at Oak Hill College in the summer of 2000. They were a response to current challenges to the view that Jesus receiving the punishment we deserved at the cross. Otherwise known as the doctrine of penal substitution. Parts of the book were a little too technical for me, but I especially appreciated the last chapter by Paul Weston, and the appendix by Alan Stibbs. Dr. Stibbs’ contribution came from a message he gave 50 years ago on the need to recover the doctrine of justification by faith in preaching. I think his words can …

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God is Born a Man Today – Merry Christmas

Last year we released an album of songs celebrating the Incarnation. We called it Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man. It was the CD my family started the day with this morning. Here are the words to the opening song, Christ the Lord, written by my good friend, Mark Altrogge. How my happy heart rejoices I can hear the angel voices “Christ is born” they all are singing From the sky this good news bringing Let the earth rejoice O come and lift your voices Christ the Lord is born today He came from heaven’s throne God is born a man today To bring His children home To bring His children home Death and darkness surely …

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What I’ve Been Working On (not this blog, obviously)

When I first started Worship Matters two years ago, I was posting five days a week. I’ve loosened up some on the schedule since then… I’ve been working on a chapter for a book on worldliness edited by my good friend, C.J. Mahaney. Crossway will be publishing it some time next year. It originated from a series of messages we gave at our a few years back on 1 John 2:15-17. My chapter develops the thought that listening to music without discernment or godly intent reveals a heart willing to flirt with the world. Other chapters address possessions, media, modesty. The final chapter suggests ways God has called us to love the world around us. Most …

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Whose Glory Do We Make Music For?

This past week we recorded some of the lead vocals for our upcoming project, Come Weary Saints, due out in April. It’s a project of congregational worship songs designed to encourage faith and hope in the hearts of those who are going through trials. Each of the vocalists who came to sing was clearly there not to promote themselves, but to serve those whoever would be listening. It was evident from their preparation, the way they joyfully received comments, and their gratefulness for the opportunity to participate in the project. Grace abounded. It reminded me of a message I gave at the Sovereign Grace WorshipGod conference in 2002. I was …

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How Do You Manage Membership on a Worship Team?

Recently I was talking to Jon Payne, the worship pastor in the Sovereign Grace church in Gilbert, Arizona. He brought up a question he had been asked about how to handle membership on a team. The particular issue was managing how long people should be on the team, given changing church size, addition of new members, seasons of life, and other factors. I thought his answer was worth sharing here at Worship Matters, so I’ve adopted it here. Each fall we have a meeting where I “fire” everyone. I want them to know I don’t assume they should automatically continue serving on the team. I give them several weeks to pray about their decision, …

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Free Christmas Music CD

Last year we produced our first “Christmas” CD, called Savior: Celebrating the Mystery of God Become Man. It contains twelve original songs that celebrate the incarnation of our Savior, and I think it’s one of our strongest projects. We wanted to put this album out because every Christmas a worship leader’s dilemma is finding new songs to sing. So we decided to contribute some new ones to the mix. I’d love for more people to know about this CD. So I’m going to give away a free copy of the Savior CD to the first 100 people who e-mail me and fulfill the following conditions: 1. You write a blog that gets over 1000 hits a month 2. You’ll write …

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