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You Have Been Raised

From Album to Sunday Morning

When Sovereign Grace produces an album, one of our main goals is to write songs that can be sung by local churches. Songs that are singable, memorable, and theologically informed. Another one of our goals is to make albums that are musically creative enough to bear repeated listenings without sounding tired. Those two goals can compete with each other, at times making it challenging to take a song on an album to Sunday morning. One of the ways we’re hoping to address that issue is by producing training videos that present songs as they might be played in a small group. You can find one for Jesus Lives here and one for You Have Been Raised here. Another …

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All I Have is Christ Animated Video

Chris Powers has been putting together animated videos of Sovereign Grace songs for a while now. The first one I saw was The Prodigal, followed by The Gospel Song. Recently he put a video together based on the song my son, Jordan, wrote, All I Have is Christ. He sets the song in the context of preaching the gospel in a country that’s closed to the gospel. I found it very moving. Let me know what you think. If you’re interested, Chris has graciously allowed you to download a high-res copy of the video at Vimeo. …

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Variations on a Hymn (That Hymn Thing)

A number of people have sent this video to me recently. I’m not sure if it’s to torment me, mock me, or encourage me. I’ll let you be the judge. I was a member of the group GLAD from 1976 to 1984 and continued to write/arrange for them until 2008. Early in our history we developed a “history” of contemporary Christian music, although the accuracy and thoroughness of our research should be severely questioned. And even though I was married to my dear wife, Julie, when this video was recorded, I don’t remember checking in with her about my wardrobe. Obviously. Note: The original video for this post is no longer available. This …

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Help Us Pick the Winner of our King of Grace Contest

Thanks to the over 20 people who submitted entries for our 10th Anniversary King of Grace contest! The assignment was to come up with a new arrangement of one of the songs from the album. These are the six videos we think are the best. Leave a comment by midnight, Jan. 12, and let us know which one you think is the most creative arrangement that also complements and supports the song. I’ll announce the winner this Thursday, Jan. 13. and they’ll receive two free registrations to WorshipGod11. Video #1 At The Foot of the Cross (Steve & Vikki Cook), arr. by Anthony Beltrez Video #2 In My Heart (Eric Grover), arr. by Teresa Thomas Video …

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Twenty Six Years Ago…In the First Light

Twenty six years ago I wrote a song for a friend who was doing a custom album. She was looking for an “all season Christmas song.” I set about writing a song that would highlight what happened before and after the birth of Christ. The result was a song called In the First Light. At the time I had just gotten off the road with the group GLAD. My arrangements and melodies for GLAD were typically on the complicated side, so I intentionally tried to write a simple melody. Ironically, it became one of my most well known songs. It was the first of many times I’d learn complex doesn’t always mean better. Last year Travis Cottrell did a version …

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Curt “Voice” Allen Raps the Heidelberg Catechism

At Next 2010, CJ Mahaney challenged Curt “Voice” Allen to come up with a rap based on Kevin DeYoung’s book,  The Good News We Almost Forgot: Rediscovering the Gospel in a 16th Century Catechism. A few months later, Curt met the challenge and wrote a song, which he performed at the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s Conference. I continue to marvel at the ability of rappers to capture so much content in so little time. I didn’t grow up on the Heidelberg Catechism, but greatly appreciated Kevin DeYoung’s book, which contains the full Catechism and his comments on it.  The catechism is filled with clear thoughts about vital topics including God, salvation, …

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“Only Jesus” Video From Next 2010

Last May I had the joy of leading worship in song at the Next conference along with three bands, including Generation Letter. One of the songs we sang, “Only Jesus,” was written by Doug Plank and based on a prayer in The Valley of Vision. I asked Doug what he was thinking when he wrote the song: I don’t think I’ve ever before (or likely will again) be so inspired by a mere two words in songwriting. While writing a song for the “Valley of Vision” project I stumbled on the poem, “The Life Look.” One particular line struck me: “May my cry be always, Only Jesus! Only Jesus!” Once those two words were located, it really was only a matter …

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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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The Gospel Song – An Animation

Not too long ago I came across the work of Chris Powers, who put together an animated video of one of our songs, The Prodigal. I was moved by the way he used simple animation to illustrate the song in a powerful way. Recently Chris told me he had animated another one of our songs, The Gospel Song. Here are the lyrics: Holy God in love became Perfect man to bear my blame On the cross he took my sin By his death I live again. In the video, Chris also added a portion of a message by John Piper where he pleads with unbelievers to trust in the finished work of Christ for their sins. The Gospel Song was first written for a musical …

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O Great God at Together for the Gospel

Last month, we introduced a number of songs at the Together for the Gospel conference in Louisville, KY. O Great God was one of them. I originally wrote the song for our album, Valley of Vision, a collection of songs based on The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. It comes from the prayer,  “Regeneration,” that begins: Occupy the throne of my heart, take full possession and reign supreme, lay low every rebel lust, let no vile passion resist they holy war; manifest thy mighty power, and make me thine for ever. Thou art worthy to be praised with my every breath, loved with my every faculty of soul served …

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The Prodigal

I came across this video recently on YouTube. It uses a song from our Sons & Daughters album, The Prodigal, written by the brother/sister team of Ryan and Meghan Baird. When I first watched it, I was unexpectedly moved by the way the animation communicated the meaning of the lyrics. I quickly forgot that I was watching a video and was drawn into the reality of the Father’s intimate, forgiving, personal love for those he has made his own in Jesus Christ. Good art has a way of pointing our eyes to what matters most. Here are the lyrics: You held out Your arms, I walked away Insolent I spurned Your face Squandering the gifts …

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Learning to Live With Limitations, Pt. 2

Last week I posted on Leading with Limitations at Together for the Gospel. When I saw the video below (via Michael Hyatt), I repented of even thinking I was limited. Ever. I’m not sure of where this family is spiritually, but they certainly model making the most of your limitations. One of my favorite Patrick Henry Hughes quotes: “God made me blind and unable to walk. Big deal. He gave me the musical gifts I have and and the great opportunity I have to meet new people.” Patrick’s example of gratefulness and faithfulness isn’t the only example worth emulating here. His dad shows a selfless commitment to his son that is simply remarkable, …

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How to Build Your Own God

I’ve been reading in Isaiah recently and have been freshly reminded of God’s hatred for idols and his passion for his own glory: Is. 43:11 I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior. Is. 44:6    Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Is. 45:21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Idols deceive us. Idols defile us. Idols eventually …

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We Have a Winner

Last night, in the last four hours before midnight, we had a rush of people voting for their favorite To Be Like Jesus video. It was close. At the end of the day (12:02 AM to be exact), Abby Cannon’s video “To Be Like Jesus” edged out Jon Ruth’s video “Gotta Wait” by two votes. The final tally was 123-121. Both videos were really well done. So, in light of that fact, we’re giving the Cannons the $250 first prize, and awarding the Ruth family a $150 gift card. Thanks to both families for participating and for everyone who voted! We plan to have a similar contest for our next kid’s project, Walking with the Wise, …

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Who Should Win Our To Be Like Jesus Video Contest?

Two months ago I invited people to send in videos based on one of the songs from our most recent kids’ album, To Be Like Jesus (now available for $6 during our February sale). The best video would receive a $250 gift card. We narrowed it down to two finalists. The first, Gotta Wait, is from Jonathan Ruth. The second, To Be Like Jesus, is from the Cannon family. I need your help to pick the winner. To vote, watch both videos and leave a comment letting us know which one you like best (one vote per person). Feel free to elaborate on why you’re casting your vote. If you have kids, you may want to find out which video is their favorite. The …

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