Genesis 4:2-16
Jan19

Genesis 4:2-16

Long ago there lived two brothers One kept flocks, the other worked the soil Both brought portions to their maker The younger had fat firstborn, the older spoil. Their Lord smiled upon the younger But grimaced and barely looked at the other’s gift That one, face downcast, soon burned with anger His Lord’s reply was “Do right, master sin.”   Soon the older approached the younger Inviting his brother to join him in his field And as...

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Storied Lives
Jan17

Storied Lives

We are captured by great stories.  They are aesthetic in the sense that they call us into participation with the storyline, the characters, the plot, and the ultimate resolution and beauty of the tale.  Stories are art! Leo Tolstoy’s words come to mind in helping us think through the impact of story: “Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings...

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Curation: The Glue That Holds Worship Together
Jan16

Curation: The Glue That Holds Worship Together

Curation: The Glue That Holds Worship Together   I first coined the term “worship curator” about 20 years ago after participating in a fairly bizarre art installation that consisted of a series of large ponds filled with paint.   I had been putting together weekly community worship events and theme-specific ambient worship spaces, and what I would now describe as “transitional worship” events, for some...

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Raw Creativity
Jan10

Raw Creativity

  “In the beginning God created…” (Gen. 1:1)   What exactly is God’s motivation for creating?  His actions are driven by and ended in love—nothing more, nothing less!  Our actions should follow likewise.  So, what about the method of our creating?  If we truly know and love God, and desire to serve him with all our heart, soul, and mind, how do we take our passion, idea, or desire and turn it into something that can actually be...

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The Dance of Epiphany
Jan09

The Dance of Epiphany

(Note: All photography is contributed by our transposition photographer Nikki McKenzie. You can visit her profile HERE, see more photos HERE , and also SUBMIT YOUR WORK)   Many around the world right now in the church are observing the season of Epiphany: a season recognizing the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12). This season is typified by symbol and artistic fullness. Though I...

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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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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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