The new site is up... →
These days it seems that we’re uncertain what we mean when we talk about worship. Some of us mean music, others mean a posture or an attitude… some people even want to constrain it to Christian activity. In an effort to bring clarity and definition, this site pulls from scripture and many quotes to start the discussion… we want to redefine worship. follow me to...
a quote from Jay Phelan...
Jay Phelan: “In the Covenant we have a chance to offer to the world a grown up faith, a faith that can handle ambiguity, a faith that can handle hard questions, a faith that can accept people even when they are wrong, a faith that permits disagreements and encourages discussions, a faith that is able to say, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘I love you,’ a faith that looks...
another great insight from Mark Roberts
Jesus… demonstrates the soul of worship. When we envision worship, chances are we think of celebratory singing or of people gathering to hear the Word of God proclaimed. To be sure, celebration and preaching are vital elements of worship. But they are not the soul, the center, the heart of worship. Rather, when you peel back the various expressions of worship to get to the core, you...
The Biblical Imperative We Love to Ignore →
Mark Roberts has a good point… The Biblical Imperative We Love to Ignore by Mark D. Roberts Psalm 96:1-13 Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Psalm 96:1 Psalm 96 begins with a simple imperative: “Sing a new song to the LORD!” If you look up all of the Hebrew words that underlie this command, you find that they really mean “Sing a new song to the LORD!” ...
we are what we sing. Music helps us learn our theology. Whole movements have...– Sing | Worship Connect
Worship creates—or should create, if it is allowed to be truly itself—a...– Simply Jesus | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Psalm 77 models for us exceptional honesty in prayer. It shows us that God cares more about our openness with him than that we get all of our theology right when we talk with him. Oh, to be sure, orthodoxy matters a great deal. But sometimes our efforts to say all the right things in prayer compromise our genuineness. The Psalms in general, and Psalm 77 in particular, encourage us to pray with “no...
a quote from www.zachicks.com blog dated 7/12/11
We can observe two things. Firstly, discussion among leaders in worship are largely driven by pragmatism. Notwithstanding notable exceptions like the annual Calvin Symposium on Christian Worship, the big worship conferences across the United States are usually skimming across the surface of the ocean of theology in order to playfully skip in the shallow pools of pragmatics, from breakout...
…and very well, said, Chris.
In 1 Chronicles, David, in an act of worship, says these words: “I will not take...– Sacrifice | Worship Connect
I don’t take lightly the craft of congregational songwriting. We’re...– Redman’s Reasons | Music | Christianity Today
Volume, Silence, WORSHIP! - gkaiser's posterous →
This is a really interesting perspective, and worth reading.
Thursday Evening Message, Efrem Smith →
I was deeply impressed by this man and his message. Enjoy!
I work for the King and Creator of the universe, no matter where I am or what...– We are the keepers of the house | Worshiping in the Kitchen
the beauty of holiness
Majestic in glory forever, In character, perfect and pure Your righteousness shines like the stars in the heavens, Your justice eternal and sure And as we consider these mysteries, Beyond all the wonders we know Our highest art cannot express All the beauty of holiness. - - - Unworthy but welcome before You Unlovely but loved by our Lord A troubled creation, remade and renewed, ...
United Methodist Worship: Contemporary Worship... →
This is a lovely article, about some worthwhile efforts to re-capture ancient truth and ancient art. I’m grateful to my friend Glenn, who knew that i would revel in this glorious idea…
Wordle - worship →
If I have one concern it’s that we make room for one another. Obviously we all...– Gathering the Covenant Family | ECC | News wonderful 1994 interview with the late James Hawkinson
BBC News - Five Minutes With: Sir Peter Hall →
“A rehearsal is not practice; it’s finding” Sir Peter Hall, legendary Theatre Director and founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company. I rather suspect that for many church musicians, rehearsal is practice… and so we find ourselves content with lesser art, and just ‘playing the notes’. Sir Peter is reminding us that we should privately practice our art, and then...
The New Pietist - discussions and ideas... →
we love you… so we are going to teach you how to pray. we love you… so we are going to teach you how to read the scriptures. we love you… so we are going to teach you how to give. (from Christ Church, East Greenwich RI)
A new identity for this blog...
It was time for a change… if nothing else, I hope this format will make it easier for you to comment.
A hymn for Mothers Day
Like a shepherd, God will lead us In the paths of righteousness. God, the Bread of Life will feed us In the barren wilderness. Loving father, He’ll protect us When the storms of life are wild; Ever comfort us with singing, Like a mother with her child. Lion of Judah, Rose of Sharon, Prophet, Royal Priest and King! Humble hen whose offspring gather In the shadow of her wing; Friend of...
A question beautifully answered... →
I love the way the Archbishop approached this situation. Thanks Chris Logan for the reference…
And for His Head? A crown of thorns; mocking, corrupt and cruel. We’ll lift Him high, abruptly bring Him down, Show this perfect King to be a fool! The heart of mercy tried, tested; spear gash through His side, probing for blood. Has death prevailed? Is truth to be denied? (His subject-masters gambling for His robe) Is grace to be exhausted, love defied? Hands - that led the dead back...
A theological supplement to CHRISTUS VICTOR
The Tree of Life in Revelation 2:7 is remarkable because the Greek word “dendron” (meaning tree) is not present; instead the word “xulon” (wood, club, pole, cross) is used. The message is that the wood is dead, yet it’s being called the Tree of Life . This is a reference to Jesus being the source of life. This metaphor of dead wood being the Tree of Life becomes even...
More scorned and scarred than when He came A pinned exhibit on a tree The Son of Heaven and Lord of earth Divorced from both in agony Cut off from God by human sin Abandoned by His frightened friends Love’s final tender Word, on whom Creation’s every breath depends So cold the nails that pierce His hands Tear skin and bones and worlds apart Sin-poisoned thorns and shocking spear Which probe and...
Inspired art from Mako Fujimura... →
Consider the Lilies: Fujimura on emThe Four Holy Gospels/em (Part 4)
keeping the old stuff while taking in some of the...
Another friend comments… There is a wonderful old hymn whose first line says “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.” Old hymns, prayers and liturgies are some of the ways in which Christians are bound together in love over time. The old hymns and liturgies aren’t the only way to bind people together, but they are part of the stream of wisdom and...
A Latin Hymn →
« Audi benigne Conditor » O kind Creator, lend your ear To contrite prayer, to hymns of praise Now poured out in your presence here Throughout this fast of forty days. You search our hearts, but for our gain Who know the weakness of our race; But when we turn to you again O grant us pardon full of grace. O Lord most merciful, reclaim Those who confess their sinfulness, And...
Geoff's Top Ten Worship Songs; March 2011 (click... →
some new, some older; the most useful worship songs (in my view) for this month
Comment from a friend in Indiana...
I recently got interested congregants together to discuss hymns: what they mean to people and how to do them well. I wanted to gather a multigenerational group to hear from each other and succeeded. Everyone likes hymns to some extent, some more than others. What no one can argue with is the high quality of poetry involved. I pushed back on some of the comments regarding more theological...
What about all the old stuff?
In the summer of 2010 I led a workshop called “What about all the old stuff?” It was part of a lovely day on Rhode Island, with all sorts of people from the North East. When I got talking to the people in this particular session, however, I was struck by how distressed they were about losing the ‘old stuff’. It seemed that, in their home churches, they were surrounded by people who had...
Moderator to Curator.
Your role as worship leader changes. Once your were the moderator, the one who stood on a stage, preventing chaos and keeping the service progressing at an even pace to its conclusion. Now the stage is either gone or it is one of many focal points. The inspiration for worship is now coming from the people themselves who have given you their art to be utilized for the service. You are now the...
A Poem by John Donne, Dean of St Paul's
I mentioned this poem during my Midwinter Workshop this week in Chicago, and several people asked to see it. I’m sure it’s in the public domain… but if you really want to honor those who invest in such things, buy yourself a book of poetry by John Donne or George Herbert. It’ll bless you… AN HYMN TO GOD, MY GOD, IN MY SICKNESS. March 23, 1630. Since I am coming...
As our loves become more disordered so also our souls.– Martin Buber on Beautiful Girls vs. Sexy Gadgets | Don’t Eat The Fruit
Star of Grace
From the dust and ashes of war-torn lands Bringing pagan tributes in unworthy hands By a star of grace, they wondering came To the light of the world by a candle’s flame On the restless night of the Savior’s birth Though a tainted silence filled the darkened earth Soaring angel hosts with their wings ablaze Burned the skies with glorious songs of praise And Oh! What joy the Herald Angel brings,...
Prepare your heart...
(To a calypso tune…) Deep in the desert, Prepare a way for me And in the stable, a cradle In the hay for me, A star appearing Guides those who pray for me, And you can play your part… Prepare your heart! Build up the valleys And bring the mountains low Create a straight way, a gateway Where the Lord can go Angelic voices Will let the whole world know So you can play your part Prepare your...
…as I work I am worshiping God—living gratefully, practicing his presence,...– Our callings are connected to our worship. As Charlie Drew says, we don’t “simply praise God that the math homework is done, or that we got a good grade in math. We worship in the work itself.” This is true not just for math students but for every calling and area of life. What...
“When sin entered the picture, it was as if all compasses lost their ability to identify true north, or as if gravity suddenly lost its power, and all matter floated wherever it would go. The connection between the Spirit of life and the human heart was severed, and we became worship devices gone haywire. We’ve invested our praise in unworthy things.” Chris Tiegreen in “The...
A richer blend…– Thirty years ago I thought I was on the cutting edge of what God was doing. I had grown up in a church that used formal liturgies, but was now part of a church experiencing the active presence of God’s Spirit during worship. Who needed 2,000 years of church history? We were finally getting it...
worship is for God, to God and of God. Worship is offering all of ourselves to all God has revealed himself to be, but it’s all about the Lord of heaven and earth before it’s about us. Worship is the means by which we interupt our preoccupation with ourselves and attend to God. We’re endlessly absorbed and fascinated with ourselves, our image and appeal. Worship is the great corrective...
The Functional Limits of Creativity: →
An excellent post on Bob Kauflin’s blog, Worship Matters: How Innovative Can We Be with the Gospel?
Twitter / Andrew Thompson: When learning how to... →
we must determine—corporately as well as individually—to become in a true sense,...– NT Wright on the authority of scripture http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Bible_Authoritative.htm
Prayer keeps us close | Worshiping in the Kitchen →
this is Godly wisdom… from one so young.
The First Commandment idea..
This is a brilliant and honest look at the Bible’s comprehensive focus… Christ. Why do we always orient things around us and what we want? I can see the argument for cultural adaption of liturgy and church meeting style’s so as not to distract people with the abruptness of differences that are purely human, but if there was a way to have a meeting organised solely around a pure...
devotions: preparing yourself...
A thought from John Donne, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, London AN HYMN TO GOD, MY GOD, IN MY SICKNESS. March 23, 1630. “Since I am coming to that holy room, Where, with Thy Choir of Saints, for evermore I shall be made Thy music, as I come I tune my instrument here at the door, And, what I must do then, think here before.”
The First Commandment (two)
Is a form of Sunday morning evangelism distracting us from God? I’m increasingly aware that many churches now approach designing worship from the perspective of who attends - or doesn’t attend - and what would suit them. In fact, this seems to be the normal way of thinking in the evangelical streams where I (mostly) swim. So tell me: when my liturgical design and language are...