Archive | —Family


Music is Great. Jesus is Greater.

This past May, our youngest child, McKenzie, graduated from Boyce College with a degree in biblical studies, focusing on music and worship. After 4 1/2 years of study, persistence, practice, and dependence on God’s grace, she finally joined the ranks of those who have a college degree. In her final semester, she had to give a senior recital. Thanks to the excellent instruction from her voice teacher, Chandi Plummer, McKenzie has expanded her vocal range significantly, grown in knowing how to care for her voice, and become much more effective at communicating emotion and dynamics when she sings. All those aspects were on full display …

Continue Reading 10

Dealing with Darkness at Christmas

It seems each Christmas I hear more people talk about how difficult this time can be for those who are suffering, depressed, or struggling with loss. Posts like When Darkness Falls at Christmas, What Grieving People Wish You Knew at Christmas, and The Problem with Our Holly Jolly Christmas Songs remind us that in spite of the parties, sentimental commercials, holiday greetings, and family reunions, all is not “calm and bright.” For many of us, Christmas is troubled and dark. My daughter, Brittany Hope, has had a tender heart for those kinds of people for years. A wife whose husband’s life was snuffed out too early. A young couple burying …

Continue Reading 12

A Call for Musically Gifted Pastors

In 2008, I suggested in Worship Matters that the title of “worship leader” needed to be defined to be helpful. So I defined it this way: A faithful worship leader magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully combining God’s Word with music, thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God’s presence, and to live for God’s glory. I still like that definition, but I’m less sure the term “worship leader” is serving us. It’s taken on a life of its own and continues to be associated with stardom, predominance, the spotlight, good looks, hipster-ness, and in some cases, …

Continue Reading 26

Reflections on Turning 60

I’ve had more than one conversation with a 20 or 30 something worship leader who was concerned about growing old. Will I have a job? Will people still want me to lead? Will I be out of touch? Last month I turned 60. I guess that puts me in the “old” category, although in my mind I still think I’m 28. I thought it might encourage a younger leader if I shared some of the things I’ve learned in 30 years of ministry that have shaped me, changed me, and given me faith for the future. Consider this a follow-up to the post I wrote five years ago on being a 55 year old worship leader. Five lessons learned 1. Direct your desires. God tells …

Continue Reading 7

Redeeming Valentine’s Day – A Story of Grace

On February 14 of 1972, I gave a Valentine’s day card to Julie, who is now my wife. It sounds like a fairy tale romance. Two people find each other in high school, get married, and live happily ever after. That’s what happened, but the story didn’t start so well. And once you hear it, you’ll think more of Julie, less of me, and be more amazed by grace. I made the card at home. The front said, “Joy is not in things, but in us…” and on the inside, “And especially in you.” It was a moving sentiment, meant to encourage a girl I thought was a little withdrawn. I was the choir accompanist and senior class president and I figured any girl …

Continue Reading 19
Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

Moving to Louisville

In a little under two weeks my family and I will be moving to Louisville, KY. After thirty years of being in Gaithersburg, MD, Sovereign Grace Ministries, the family of churches that I serve, is relocating its offices. I’ve been here since 1997, so it’s understandably a bittersweet departure. But I’m filled with faith for what God has planned for the future. The Lord has been kind to us in Gaithersburg. We’ve been able to co-labor with Covenant Life Church to put on conferences of all types (including WorshipGod), host the Sovereign Grace Pastors College, and serve other Sovereign Grace churches in our region. But a potential move has …

Continue Reading 57

Leading in the Midst of Trials

I’ve been asked more than once how you can lead people in singing God’s praise when you’re going through your own personal trials. This past weekend I had the opportunity to find out first hand. I was out of town last week and on Wednesday morning received a call from my son, Jordan. He and his wife, Tali, have three young boys, and they’re currently living with us as Jordan attends the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s College. “Dad, do you have a few minutes?” he asked. I wasn’t expecting what he said next. “We had to take Jack to the hospital last night. The doctors say he has cancer.” I had one of those moments when the world seems to stop …

Continue Reading 51

Reflections on Turning 55

55. A speed limit. Five years past half a century. LV. Double nickels. And today, my age. I finally qualify for the 10% senior discount at Jiffy Lube. I remember when 55 seemed really old. Right now it feels like the prime of life.  What does a 55 year old worship leader think about? Here’s a sample… 1. The years I have left for fruitful ministry are dwindling. Used to be I never thought much about death. Now I think about it at least weekly. Life is short, and it keeps getting shorter. I estimate I have between 10-20 more years of fruitful ministry, Lord willing. Then again, I may not live to see 2011. A lot to accomplish before …

Continue Reading 29

Heading to the Desiring God Conference

I’m heading out from vacation today with my daughter, Chelsea, to speak at the Desiring God National Conference, The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. I’ll be addressing the topic of “Why Does God Want Us to Sing?” It’s a real privilege to speak at this conference along with Sinclair Ferguson, Paul Tripp, Mark Driscoll, Dan Taylor, and John Piper, although I don’t think I’ll agree to speak at the end of a vacation again. It can be just a little distracting. The first week was mostly sunny and warm, but God saw fit in the second week to give us numerous days of 40mph winds and then some rain to go with it. Not sure you can see it clearly …

Continue Reading 5

On Vacation

From Sept. 14-28 I’ll be here with my family and a two other families. The only ones who can’t make it this year are my son, Devon, and his wife, Kristine. They had to stay behind because their son is going to be born any day. Maybe I’ll blog. Maybe I won’t… …

Continue Reading 7

On Vacation

I’m at the beach with my family right now and won’t be posting again until next week. When I get back I’ll receive the the first draft of my book back with edits. It’s been great to get away from it for a while. I’m looking forward to diving back in. In the mean time, I just received word that Yamaha is offering free on-line training for audio training, computer recording, and choosing a keyboard. The schedule is as follows: Audio 101: Learn audio basics, including an introduction to mixers, amplifiers, speakers, microphones and signal flow. Sessions will cover basic mixing concepts like EQ and effects processing, along with the technical …

Continue Reading 3

Back Home

Julie and I returned from our anniversary trip this past Monday. This is a picture of Uzes, a little town about 45 minutes away from where we stayed in France. We visited it numerous times. God was wonderfully kind to us. We experienced moderate temperatures, sunny skies, and pleasant breezes almost every day. Our love for each other and our gracious God was renewed and deepened. We had opportunity to fellowship with old friends (Pete and Jen Greasley, Stuart and Caroline Townend, Pete and Liz Harwood) and meet new ones at Penge Family Church and the bed and breakfast we stayed at in Adlestrop, England. I’ve been in the process of getting …

Continue Reading 2

Celebrating Thirty Years of Marriage

For the next 16 days, I’m taking a break from Worship Matters. I have a number of quotes on worship scheduled to post automatically, but I won’t be doing anything real time. The reason is the woman who’s pictured here. This is a picture of Julie, taken at the recent WorshipGod06 conference. Thirty years ago, on August 28, she agreed to be my lawfully wedded wife for the rest of her days. If you knew me back then, you’d understand what a miracle that was. I’m taking Julie to France, Wales, and England from Aug. 26-Sept. 11 to celebrate 30 years of God’s kindness to us. We’ll be staying for a week in a house in Provence that some kind friends …

Continue Reading 23

On Vacation

This week I’m with my family, my son’s family, my other son’s family, my daughter’s family, and Eric Simmons’ family at the beach. Yes, that’s a lot of people. And we’re here to rest, read, sing, enjoy fellowship, laugh together, grow in our relationship with God and each other, share meals, and build memories. All for God’s glory. I’ve realized over the years that if I go on a vacation with the intention of serving myself, I’ll come back less refreshed, and have a "sin-fest" along the way. Believe me, I’ve tried it. I’ve also learned that while WE might take vacations, sin and temptation don’t. My surroundings might change for a week, …

Continue Reading 4

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes