Archive | April, 2009

Drabbles from the Depths

I didn’t know what a “drabble” was until just recently. It’s an extremely short work of fiction of exactly 100 words in length. Nicole McLernon, 21 year old daughter of my good friends Mike and Patty McLernon, recently wrote a “super-drabble” – ten drabbles in a row. She based it on some of the lyrics to my song, Out of the Depths, from our Psalms CD. Nicole unpacks what it might mean to “wait on the Lord” when you find out your daughter has cancer. Although her piece is fictional, the situation is all too familiar. I was affected by her portrayal of a struggling heart learning to submit to God’s wisdom and truth revealed in the gospel. This …

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Announcing the Sovereign Grace Songwriting Contest Winner

What? You say you didn’t even know we had a songwriting contest? No surprise. It was pretty low key. At the start of 2009, I sent out an email to the Sovereign Grace worship leaders announcing a contest for 14-22 year old songwriters. The rules were pretty simple. Submit up to two original congregational songs by mid-February. The winner would receive an ESV Study Bible and a $50 iTunes certificate. Among the promising entries were At the Cross by J’Nelle Smith and You Will Sustain by Philip VanderWeide. But the winner was 22 year old Peter (PJ) Kemerer of Corning, NY who sent in Gift of Grace. It’s an uptempo 6/8 song that focuses on …

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New “Glorious and Mighty” Live Recording

Last year, at WorshipGod08, we presented a choral arrangement of “Glorious and Mighty,” from the Psalms CD. Unfortunately, the recording didn’t turn out very well. But at this year’s Sovereign Grace Pastors Conference we sang the piece again and recorded it to 24 track. I thought it turned out much better. In any case, you can download it by clicking here, and get the choral arrangement here.  Here are the lyrics, based on Psalm 96: Majesty, Your glory is shining Brighter than the moon and the stars Marveling, we honor and fear You Above all gods Glorious and mighty, You’re awesome In beauty Joyful songs we raise Glorious and mighty, …

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Leading Worship on a Church Plant

Last week, I was talking to Matthew Williams, one of the pastors of Kingsway Community Church in Richmond, VA. They’re sending out a group of folks to plant a church in Fredericksburg, VA this fall. Matthew was asking me how I’d counsel a worship leader that’s starting out on a church plant. In the middle of our conversation I thought he might not be the only guy asking this question. So here are some the things I told Matthew I’d do if I was going to lead worship on a church plant. 1. Because people will be coming from different churches, backgrounds, and experiences, I’d plan to take extra time  to explain our philosophy of worship. Every …

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Songs from the 2009 Sovereign Grace Pastors Conference (and a free song)

Things have been kind of busy around here lately. Last week I had the privilege of leading worship for the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s Conference. Had about 800 folks came, including around 170 guests. The main messages were rich. CJ Mahaney spoke twice on 1 Pet. 5:1-4, focusing our eyes on the great Shepherd and the high calling of caring for his people. Dave Harvey addressed “What Makes the Great Commission Great?” He offered a compelling presentation of a church-based mission strategy. Jeff Purswell spoke from 2 Tim. 2:15 on “The Pastor and His Teaching.” He challenged us and equipped us for the priority of preaching God’s Word. Jared Mellinger …

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If You’re Into Beatboxing (and even if you aren’t)

I don’t know too much about beatboxing, except that I can’t do it. Wikipedia defines beatboxing as “a form of vocal percussion which primarily involves the art of producing drum beats, rhythm, and musical sounds using one’s mouth, lips, tongue, voice, and more.” And more? Guess that leaves it wide open. I recently became aware of the Beatbox Chef video. After a little Google research I realized I may be one of the ten people on the planet who hasn’t seen this. But maybe you’re one of them, too. The Brit in the video below goes by the name of “Beardyman.” I’ve watched his video numerous times with amazement. His timing is impeccable. One …

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