Archive | October, 2010


Should We Sing Songs About God’s Judgments?

Some people had questions about my recent review of Doug O’Donnell’s book, God’s Lyrics, which I want to attempt to address in this post. The basic question has to do with the place of singing about God’s judgments. O’Donnell makes the point that many of the songs in the Old Testament rejoice over God’s just judgments (Ex. 15:1-18; 1Sam. 2:10; 2Sam. 22:44-51, etc.) A related theme has to do with God humbling the proud. Both themes are lacking in the song diet of many churches, yet they’re unquestionably present not only in OT songs, but in the New Testament as well (Lk. 1:51-55; Rev. 18:20; 19:1-5). Are You Kidding Me? We can struggle …

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Receiving the Baton from a Previous Generation

A while back I was asked to write an article for Tabletalk magazine for their “Generation to Generation” column. My aim was to share a few words to encourage the next generation of leaders. I asked if I could repost the article and Tabletalk graciously granted me permission. You can find the original post at Ligonier’s site but if it’s too difficult to click on the link, here’s what I wrote: As I run the final laps of my race on this earth (however long the Lord allows that to be), one of my greatest joys and desires is to serve the next generation. When I was in my twenties, I assumed, somewhat arrogantly, that my friends and I had better …

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King of Grace 10 Year Anniversary Contest and Song Giveaway

Ten years ago Sovereign Grace Music released King of Grace. It immediately became one of our most popular recordings. It features twelve songs that cover themes including the gospel, justification, the cross, evangelism, sanctification, heaven, and passion for God. The musical moods range from joyful celebration to quiet reflection. Although the songs are 10 years old, we’ve continued to use a number of them. But a lot has happened in the last ten years musically. These songs were arranged in the late nineties and I’d love to hear fresh arrangements of them. So we’re going to have a contest. I’m giving away two free registrations …

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How Do I Get New Song MP3s to My Band Members Legally?

Tim wrote me to ask a question every one who works with music in the church has probably asked at least once, if not a hundred times. I was wondering how you handled the distribution of burned CDs in your music ministry. Is there anyway to do this legally? I would love to download and distribute songs on mixed CDs for two main reasons: 1) To help my musicians be familiar with new songs before rehearsal 2) To encourage Christians I am counseling to listen to songs that admonish/encourage/help them worship God in the specific area of their spiritual life that they are struggling in. I sent Tim’s question out to some of the guys who help …

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Generation Letter Video – “King of Peace”

I was encouraged recently to hear that Worship Leader magazine had included Generation Letter’s song “King of Peace” on their recent Song Discovery CD. Each Song Discovery CD contains 12-15 congregational songs with  leads sheets and chord charts in 3 keys. Many are from well known bands and artists, but they often feature songs from lesser known musicians and local church projects as well. A great service to the church. The video above is Generation Letter leading King of Peace at this year’s Next Conference in Baltimore, MD (May 28-31). I led with them, along with Alli Gilland, who was filling in for Stephen Morgan on guitar. The members …

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Review of God’s Lyrics by Douglas Sean O’Donnell

A few weeks ago I finished God’s Lyrics: Rediscovering Worship Through Old Testament Songs. O’Donnell “draws out the historical, exegetical, and theological significance of the songs of Moses, Deborah, Hannah, David, and Habakkuk. He then shows, in the light of the person and work of Jesus Christ, how the lyrics of God’s Word apply to contemporary congregational singing.” (from the back cover) In other words, he’s seeking to answer the question, “What can Old Testament songs teach us about the songs we use for corporate worship today?” His answer? A lot. O’Donnell chose this method for two reasons. First, these songs provide “unique poetic …

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The Functional Limits of Creativity: How Innovative Can We Be with the Gospel?

This past weekend I had the privilege of presenting a workshop at Crowder’s Fantastical Church Music Conference in Waco, TX. Through a series of email discussions, David and I came up with the title, “The Functional Limits of Creativity: How Innovative Can We Be with the Gospel?” When Crowder first contacted me about participating in the conference I wanted to make sure he knew where I was coming from in the area of creativity. I love creativity, but think God has placed limits on its use in congregational meetings. He told me that’s why he wanted me to come to the conference. Well, that made my day. I divided my workshop message into …

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Reflections on Crowder’s Fantastical Church Music Conference

Well, I’m back from one of the more unusual conferences I’ve had the privilege of speaking at, Crowder’s Fantastical Church Music Conference, held in Waco, TX, hosted by the ever gracious and witty David Crowder. The schedule was non-stop, with speakers/presenters including Francis Chan, Rob Bell, Louie Giglio, David Dark, Matt Redman, and a few others. I participated in a main session panel and also led a workshop, “The Functional Limits of Creativity: How Innovative Can We Be with the Gospel?” (I’ll share the notes from that in a separate post). The conference featured a diverse group of bands and musicians who both presented their own music …

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