Psalm 7

[an Evasion of David from Cush to the Lord] O despot, harborage I dock in you Stall them, aid my break-out of this pursuit For if they catch me, who can salvage me? They will surely ribbon out my flesh. Dear God!  If I have painted evil’s hue, These hands of mine stained red, in vain pollute. If war’s now waged ‘tween peaceful friends and me Or I have now unjustly robbed my foe Then let each one soon snatch me, stamp...

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Psalm 4

Respond… Respond to me when I send for you,    You, my right god Release the pressure, ease the stress   Grant mercy to this, my prayer.   When, men, will you cease forming honor into shame?    How long to love lies and know other lovers?   Know the Lord saves the godly for him   His ears tune into my voice.   In your anger, don’t you sin;    While on your bed, when lights are dimmed    See you heart’s...

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Dangerous Spirituality
Mar09

Dangerous Spirituality

We have inherited a Western idea of spirituality that has trickled down into our worship.  “The spirituality we inherited, for all the richness and holiness it bred, is essentially for the individual. This spirituality puts the full responsibility for the search for God and for holiness on the person, though he or she is expected to need direction, and probably the structure of a life specifically designed to support spiritual search....

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God’s Story

According to Robert Webber in a book called Ancient—Future Worship, “Worship does God’s story.”¹ By that, Webber means that worship is a narrative of cosmic proportions, “worship gathers to sing, tell, and enact God’s story of the world from its beginning to its end.”² This means Christian worship leaders and gathered Christian worshippers need to have some familiarity with the basic storyline and plotline of the Bible. The storyline...

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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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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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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 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 New Language of Spirituality
Dec01

The New Language of Spirituality

  Robert Webber makes this statement concerning the idea of spirituality in his book The Divine Embrace: “because of the divorce between theology and spirituality, mysticism shifted from the ancient understanding of spirituality to a new approach.  Spirituality, which was once a contemplation of God’s saving acts, now contemplates the self and the interior life.”[1]  This statement provides a profound summation of the issue at...

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Responsorial Psalm 30: I Will Praise You, Lord, for You Have Rescued Me
Nov03

Responsorial Psalm 30: I Will Praise You, Lord, for You Have Rescued Me

Responsorial Psalm 30:I will praise you, Lord, for You have rescued me. http://www.worshipministrycatalyst.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Rescue-Response-Psalm-30_Jeremy-Mayfield_081215.mp3     Here’s a 3-tiered set of notes to whet your Psalm-singin’ whistle and (hopefully) help you resonate more deeply with this ancient, sacred song: Historical It’s estimated that David penned anywhere from 73-85 of the 150 Psalms. Psalm...

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Responsorial Psalm 118: This Is the Day the Lord Has Made!
Nov01

Responsorial Psalm 118: This Is the Day the Lord Has Made!

  Let me begin by saying, “Buckle your seat belts–the holiday season is officially upon us.” While it’s easy to be immediately sucked into Christmas plans, gifts and decorations, Thanksgiving is a holiday that I choose to engage in, even if it has a smaller bling factor. Thanksgiving centers us in reflection and gratefulness. The Psalms, specially Psalm 118, offer practical words and actions we can use to...

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What is Greatness?
Oct27

What is Greatness?

      I don’t know about you, but when I gaze into the heavens, and when I survey the earth and the nature therein, I’m brought to my knees in awe at the wonders of God’s artistry!  No human can deny that there is an awe and majesty to our universe.  It’s simply dumbfounding.  Sadly, however, I have to confess that my response to such encounters with beauty, and the realizations that follow, do not always lead me to a...

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