Shepherding Creatives
Jan05

Shepherding Creatives

There is a desire many young artists have to write worship music, create graphic art, dance, paint, etc. And it’s a wonderful thing that must be encouraged. In fact, research shows that the younger we encourage imagination and creativity, the more creative people will become. Of course, along with this desire, there comes the desire for people to see and laud the work. This desire is coupled with the temptation of an accessible...

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Be Still, and Know that I am God
Jan03

Be Still, and Know that I am God

The prophet Habakkuk charged the nation of Judah, and all the earth to be silent before the LORD, resident in his holy temple (Hab 2:20). The context of Habakkuk’s message was the imminent destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian armies of King Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet’s admonition still has currency for the people of God today, as the nations continue to rage against God and each other. As we hush before the Lord in his holy...

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The Failure of Church Worship
Jan02

The Failure of Church Worship

The Failure of Church Worship   A Worship Leader leads worship. A Worship Director directs worship. A Worship Producer produces worship.   As a Pastor, I haven’t found any of the above terms helpful in describing what I do. The “care-of-souls-function” of worship, implies a broader range of nuanced activity than lead, direct, produce, design, or even do.   As a Pastor, my role includes encouraging, equipping, teaching,...

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David as a Worship Leader
Dec29

David as a Worship Leader

The convergence of these two activities, leadership and worship, occurred quite naturally in the life of King David.  David’s example as a worship leader has much to offer to those who minister in similar roles today.  The Psalms especially provide insight on David’s approach to the worship of God.  For our purposes, Psalm 62 may be effectively mined as a case study in worship leadership with the use of a little imagination.1 For...

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The Enduring Appeal of C.S. Lewis
Dec27

The Enduring Appeal of C.S. Lewis

Not long ago, a friend sent me an article by the late Dr. Chris Mitchell of Wheaton College, a leading scholar on C.S. Lewis. In it, Dr. Mitchell asks why Lewis’ embers still blaze hot more than half a century after his death on November 22, 1963, the same day that JFK was assassinated. It’s a question that resonates with me because Lewis so thoroughly engages my imagination. I want to put everything he’s written on stage. The best...

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‘Look Along’ a Baby to Celebrate Advent
Dec22

‘Look Along’ a Baby to Celebrate Advent

Babies’ are innocent and cuddly, yet they can have the most unsettling cry. Maybe this is what causes the Psalmist in Psalm 8 to say: Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes,     to still the enemy and the avenger. Even in this verse it implies that there’s a mastery, both in purity and in gusto that makes babies so calm and composed, but yet warrior like in their threat...

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Rejection
Dec22

Rejection

  Every artist faces rejection. For writers it’s usually at the hands of an agent, editor, critique group, beta reader, or terrible Amazon review. To be clear, rejection is not the same as helpful suggestions or critiques (like ways to strengthen underdeveloped characters, plot holes, the dreaded sagging middle, etc). Rejection is a flat out dismissal of a writer’s ideas, work or abilities. Although some writers are able to...

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Last Chance to Give the Book of Romans for Christmas
Dec19

Last Chance to Give the Book of Romans for Christmas

Cody Curtis was kind enough to join us for a podcast interview that has aired on WMC and GCP’s podcast in November 2016. His group Psallos has been gracious enough to allow us a chance to give you a sample of his music over the ensuing weeks. Please, if you’re looking for Christmas gifts, CLICK HERE and give away the whole Book of Romans in musical form to your friends and family this Advent season....

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Singing Lies
Dec16

Singing Lies

Back in September of 2006, I was listening to Jason Upton teach on worship at the Lifelight Music Festival in Sioux Falls. He said something that day that has inspired The Psalms Project concept ever since: “Bono (of U2 fame) once said, ‘I don’t listen to Gospel music because it isn’t honest. That’s why I listen to Nine Inch Nails.’” After clarifying the fact that he didn’t necessarily agree with Bono’s solution to the lack of honesty...

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The Book of Romans | More Free Music
Dec12

The Book of Romans | More Free Music

Cody Curtis was kind enough to join us for a podcast interview that has aired on WMC and GCP’s podcast in November 2016. His group Psallos has been gracious enough to allow us a chance to give you a sample of his music over the ensuing weeks. Please, if you’re looking for Christmas gifts, CLICK HERE and give away the whole Book of Romans in musical form to your friends and family this Advent season....

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The Church Year: Redeeming Time and Ordering Worship
Dec08

The Church Year: Redeeming Time and Ordering Worship

    The Advent Season is officially upon us and the marker that begins the historical “Christian year.” The Christian year or church year is a way Christian worship tells God’s story. Over the course of several centuries, the Christian church has ordered worship according to cycles of time by developing a church year or a liturgical calendar. The expression church year refers to the regular sequence of days,...

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The Creative Process
Dec06

The Creative Process

  Every one of us is filled with imagination, creativity, and ingenious ability. We need to recognize this about ourselves because it is foundational to who we are as humans, and, the fact is, everything we do and think is connected to what we believe.  Our theological belief about God and our ontological (big word meaning “being”) belief about who we are comes out in everything we do. Whatever comes out of or goes into our five...

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The Wonder of the Word in Corporate Worship
Nov29

The Wonder of the Word in Corporate Worship

  As a child, I loved to sing in church. When we opened our hymnals, I understood, there was an emotional connection to what we were doing in song. I felt it. Glorious truth paired with stirring melody was a combination that connected with me deeply. Some of the older women of the church would shed tears as they sang songs of God’s faithfulness. I remember the joy on my father’s face as he would bellow out truth, eyebrows raised...

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Theology of Technology: iPhone and Apple Watch
Nov22

Theology of Technology: iPhone and Apple Watch

  It is no secret that the iPhone is a wild success, and with the launch of the iPhone 6 series, I’m sure Apple will not be slowing down in their influence any time soon.  In this post, I will not be making an attempt to slander Apple—ha, I’m writing this post on my MacBook Air, Tweeting it with my iPhone, and it’s stored in my iCloud, so it’s no secret that I love Apple products—but I want to think theologically for a second....

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Theology of Technology: Insta-Art
Nov15

Theology of Technology: Insta-Art

  Put it in the microwave, it’s faster.  Don’t do dial-up, get broadband…no, no, better yet, now we have wireless and the latest fiber-optic Internet.  Why?  Because it’s faster.  Google is pitching it, we’re clicking it, and every technology is promising it.  There’s a fascinating theology taking over the world, and that principle is speed.  Never mind the studies that prove fast-food is killing us, phones are infecting us, or...

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Worship in the Home Pt. 2
Nov14

Worship in the Home Pt. 2

The Opportunity of the Home In Part 1 of our series on worship in the home, we introduced a little word known as paideia. We didn’t really go into much detail about the word (This was intentional), but today we will look at this term a bit more deeply, and we will continue to press it out over the weeks to come.  What the heck does this word mean anyway? We know in the Greco-Roman model of education, paideia was a cultural...

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