What can I say?  I’ve been busy, and many of my favorite worship bloggers have gone post happy, and most of it contains GREAT content!

For instance, Milestone Worship brought us an excellent series called THE REDEMPTIVE WORK OF WORSHIP PART 1, PART 2, & PART 3, as well as another thought provoking addition to the SONGWRITING FOR WORSHIP series.

I am an Offering brought us a 2 parter on worship production that I found interesting; THE IMPORTANCE OF A PRODUCER, & PRODUCING FOR THE LOCAL CHURCH.  They also added another post in the PRACTICAL MUSIC THEORY series, which I’ve found very helpful in the past few months.  Lastly, they recently reviewed a book which I am currently reading, and encourage you all to pick up as well: WORSHIP GOD.

Rich Kirkpatrick just added two more to his Worship Mythbusters series, which I read faithfully; THE ROLE OF THE WORSHIP LEADER, & EXPRESSIVENESS IN WORSHIP VERSES LEGALISM.  Both of these really challenged me.

Adrian Warnock posted some interesting content from a multi-part interview with Phatfish’s Nathan Fellingham; THE THEOLOGY OF WORSHIP SONGS, & WRITING SONGS FOR WORSHIP.

And lastly (I warned you that there was a LOT, didn’t I?!), a whole slew of other excellent blogs and resources I’ve come across since my last ‘blog-love’ post:
BETRAYING GOD IN WORSHIP
FREE SOFTWARE FOR SONGWRITERS
A FEW THOUGHTS FOR THE WORSHIP LEADER
MUSICAL QUALITY IN WORSHIP SETTINGS
and an ONLINE SONGWRITING COURSE FROM VINEYARD UK.

That’s about it for now.  I hope these encourage, challenge, and build you up!

So be it!

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Let me start by saying – I LOVE MY CHURCH! I am happy and proud to be plugged into a church body that is Christ-Centered, Gospel-Driven, Grace-Filled, & Doctrinally Sound, with relevant teaching, wonderful times of corporate worship, and friendly people. Maybe that is why is saddens me to see so-called ‘Christians’ who are, as Josh Harris says, “dating the church”, rather than plugged in somewhere, serving and fellowshipping, committed first & foremost to one local body. Just this week Tim Challies wrote an excellent, powerful, and encouraging post called THEY WENT TO THEIR OWN about his commitment to a local body of believers. Adrian Warnock commented on Challies’ post in LOVE YOUR LOCAL CHURCH. One of my current favorite Worship songwriters, Stephen Altrogge, posted an very humorous excerpt of one of Josh Harris’ sermons, and the full sermon by Harris is available here: COMMITMENT TO THE CHURCH.

In other great church news, apparently there are many signs of revival occurring at Mars Hill Church in Seattle.   200 baptisms in ONE DAY alone!  God is on the move!

As it relates to music, Wisdom Moon posted a great new music theory resource, Milestone Worship added another helpful blog on Worship Songwriting, and a challenging post on SKILL LIDS was blogged over at I am an Offering.

And lastly, back to my church, Fred McKinnon, our music director, posted his thoughts on our Easter Service this past Sunday.

Blessings, and have a GREAT weekend!

Man, what a GREAT last couple weeks for blogging!

First, Sovereign Grace Music has announced their newest c.d., COME WEARY SAINTS.  They’ve put complete audio online to sample, and though it’s quite a bit darker than most of their material (the theme of the c.d. relates to God being sovereign in our adversity), I am particularly excited about the new songs “Every Day” & “You have always been Faithful”.

Milestone Worship has added two more installments in their Songwriting for Worship series: Reci-Tativ & Aria, & The Singability Quotient.

In a similar vein, I was excited to find an entire teaching series on Worship Songwriting from the IWarSchool.  There’s definitely some good stuff there.

Rich Kirkpatrick dispels the common myth that “Worship with hymns is more theologically rich than with modern music” as part of his excellent WORSHIP MYTHBUSTERS series.

Speaking of hymns, Tim Challies reviewed a number of great new resources for those worship leaders looking for a fresh take on hymnody.

And lastly – entirely off the subject of music/corporate worship (though the author of this blog is an EXCELLENT songwriter, himself) – Stephen Altrogge posted a very convicting blog called WHAT ARE WE REALLY TALKING ABOUT? – it’s all about calling sin ‘sin’, and not candy coating it and making it sound acceptable.  Good stuff.

Amen.

Mid-March Blog Love

March 12, 2008

There have been some goodies as of late!

First, my “superior” Fred McKinnon posted a CONVICTING leadership nugget on “Vision Casting”.  As I told him at lunch on Monday – guilty as charged!  It’s a healthy reminder of the need to be pro-active in making sure your team is on the same team.  Read it and weep.

Chris (from Canada) posted a very helpful brainstorming tool which could be helpful in songwriting – at least I’ve often approached songwriting this way.  Be sure to check out his post New Online Brainstorming Tool.

Milestone Worship has recently posted a few helpful tips on Songwriting for Worship.

My friend, David Herndon, was interviewed by ABOUT CHRISTIAN MUSIC regarding his new c.d., Out of Danger/Into Rescue.  Not only is it a good disc, and an interesting interview, but David’s band, and I, will be playing at our church on Friday, March 21st at 8 PM.  Free Show.  More info forthcoming.

Lastly, most anyone who knows me or reads anything I write knows how influencial John Piper’s writing has been on my life.  Well, John has recently put his Kingdom-of-God-centered “God is the Gospel” ONLINE in it’s entirety!  Yes, it’s a hard read in places, but it will probably change your life.  Make sure you have enough paper in your printer, and get to reading!

Amen.

Blog Love Quickie

March 4, 2008

First, more on the opening of our new Church facility from Travis, Chris, & Justin.

In other news:
Stuart Townend on  How to Write Hymns
Bob Kauflin responds in For Music

Lastly…I’ve been doing a LOT of songwriting recently.  In fact, it is my goal this year to finish writing at least 12 new corporate worship songs this year – given that I’ve finished one so far, and have at least 3 more started, I think I’ll meet my ‘quota’.  Well, while rehearsing for this Wednesday’s INSIDE OUT meeting, we were going to play “Meant to Live” by Switchfoot as our walk-in music – a song many of us like.  Right as we began to rehearse, the whole band basically mass-vetoed the song, and suggested playing my newest, “Call me to Life“, instead.  THAT made my day!   Hopefully I can get a live-recording of it soon and pop it up online.

Thank you, Jesus.

Amen.

Friday Blog Love

February 22, 2008

Happy Friday! Just thought I’d spread some blog-love around before the weekend.

My friend (and one of my ‘bosses’, though that sounds so harsh & authoritarian), Fred McKinnon, has posted a pic of our new auditorium. It doesn’t represent the full room, but you can get a feel for it. I’m EXCITED!

I just discovered a very cool older post over at Fundamentally Reformed called THE RISE OF THE MODERN HYMN MOVEMENT, as well as a newer follow up post; MODERN HYMN WRITERS. Mandy, you should enjoy this. Being in a songwriting kick, myself, I found it fascinating.

One of my few living heroes, Tim Keller, has finished his new book THE REASON FOR GOD. Along with N.T. Wright‘s SIMPLY CHRISTIAN, this may be one of the best apologetics for the Biblical faith for post-moderns written to date. Good stuff.

Rich Kirkpatrick recently posted a very though provoking blog in his ‘Worship Mythbusters’ series entitled WORSHIP IS NOT ENTERTAINMENT.

I’ll be taking a much-needed blogging break until March 3rd.  Until we meet again!

Amen…and OUT.

Who is this Woman?

February 19, 2008

So, last night my wife, Cyle – a woman who once, when looking at older pictures of me, stated emphatically that she was glad she met me when she did because the earlier ‘me’ wouldn’t have appealed to her – told me that I should grow my hair out “at least to your shoulders, so you can put it in a pony-tail”!!!???!!!??? What’s your name again, and where did Cyle go?!

Honestly, I’ve gotten used to having my hair shorter, but I also enjoy doing crazy things like that, so I wonder: how far is too far?

Here are a few older pics of me – I wore my hair long off and on (mostly ‘on’) from late ’91 to early ’02.  At it’s longest I think it was about 17 inches…anyway…enjoy these samples, and tell me: Which do you prefer?

(I’m the one with the braided dreads on the last pic – upper left-hand corner)

Friday Blog Love

February 15, 2008

There have been so many good blogs and new resources published this week that I can hardly keep up!

First, Mark Altrogge over at The Blazing Center posted Hope for the Sin-Stained Worshiper. Though I’m sure no worship leaders that read this blog have EVER got into a fight with their wife on the way to church (at least I NEVER do that – um, right honey?), you may still benefit from this.

Jared Wilson at Gospel-Driven Church gives a helpful critique of the idea that ‘God shows up’ in the musical aspect of a worship service in a blog worth thinking considering: Call & Response.

Jordan at Worship Trench shares some helpful thoughts that are very relevant if you are, like us, in the process of moving into a new facility, and find your congregation in the midst of great change. Check out Walking the Tightrope for his thoughts.

Lastly, we’ve really been emphasizing, among our student leaders in particular, the importance of daily Bible study and quiet time – growing really familiar with God through his self-revelation in the Word. With that in mind, it is very important to consider what translation we are using and why. In light of that, I present Tim Challies’ The Beauty of a Good Translation and Adrian Warnock’s The ESV: a Bible translation for Everyone? Both give good reason why I choose the ESV over all the other options.

Have a blessed weekend!

Amen.

First and foremost, get yourself over to 9Marks and read Greg Gilbert’s post criticizing ‘Worship Music’ and Bob Kauflin’s excellent response. It’s a worthy discussion to enter into.

Also be sure to sign up for a free account and check out CCLITV, a showcase for new, independent worship artists and songs, as well as articles and other helpful information. A good sample of the sort of new songs you might find are this one, which I enjoyed.

And here’s an older THOUGHT FOR SONGWRITERS from Matt Redman, which has been convicting me as of late, particularly after the vision God gave me this weekend at Brian Johnson‘s conference locally at Bethel. Maybe I’ll post more on that later.

And lastly, this is one KILLER rendition of “Smoke on the Water” – seriously, it’s pretty amazing:

  Smoke on the Water Everyone`s heard the Deep Purple rock classic, but have you heard it played by a full Japanese orchestra?

Hold on for your life…here’s some blog love so vast that few can withstand its…well…okay, here are a bunch of blog posts from last year that I never reposted but should have.  So, without detailed descriptions, or much fluff, here they are.  Really, there is some great content here.  Be blessed!

What do you do when you are no longer the “focus” of your church’s programming? from Rich Kirkpatrick

Getting more Volunteers from Behind the Leaf

Ruined for Anything Else from Challies.com

 All-Time Favorite Story from Vince Antonuccio

Worship: it’s really all about us? from Sign of Jonah

Real Suffering & Songwriting from Milestone Worship

and lastly, a bit of humor from the Internet Monk – Proverbs for Angry Old (and Young) Men.

So there, my folder has been cleared.  Enjoy!

Our pastor, David Yarborough, hit a home-run today with his blog PLEASE JESUS. A little hint: it’s all about a bumper sticker that I almost purchased myself once when I was in college.

Our Worship Director here at St. Simons Community Church, Fred McKinnon, posted a humorous poke at our Youth Pastor, Jon Blankenship. Jon apparently worked with Fred on re-recording “I will Survive” for our KidJam ministry…as a sheep. You will most likely die laughing at this, so prepare yourself: go ahead and call 911 BEFORE listening.

Heather, wife of the fore-mentioned Youth Pastor, and our ‘Vocal Coordinator’ at INSIDE OUT, posted this excellent blog about Biblical humility she titled Broken Things, which is closely related to my last Worship Textfessional. Very challenging, and worth a read.

If I don’t post again soon, I pray you have a great weekend!

Friday Blog-love

December 7, 2007

A few important blogs (et etc.) you should check out over the weekend…

Fred McKinnon, the Worship Director at our church, is having a SUPER-SALE on the Worship Under the Stars CDs & DVDs (which I sang tenor on) – most definitely worth the price of $5 (!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING, FRED?!!!!). How’s that for a stocking-stuffer?!

Bethlehem Baptist, John Piper‘s Church, has opened a “Worship Pastor” track apprenticeship program at their training institute.

And lastly, why not pop over and watch the Narnia: Prince Caspian trailer?

Have a wonderful weekend!