Singing is Prayer, So Your Prayer Life Isn’t that Bad!

Matthew Westerholm helpfully condenses some of John Calvin's thoughts on singing and prayer. You can read it here... First, singing our prayers helps us unite our gathered church. Second, singing our prayers helps focus our wandering thoughts. Third, singing helps inflame our withering affections. Fourth, singing our prayers helps us engage our entire bodies.  

In Defense of “Silent Night”

Five years ago, our son Silas was born on Christmas Eve. A few days after we went home, we thought he had a temperature and maybe an infection, which could be serious in a newborn, so we went to the children's hospital. The ER doc thought he was ok, but just dehydrated. However, the hospital... Continue Reading →

C.S. Lewis on the Incarnation

It's Advent season! It's a time not for idolatry, materialism, and gluttony, but worship,  anticipation, and reflection on the glories of God shown in the incarnation. With that I want to share one of my favorite quotes from my dead best friend Clive Staples (commonly known as C.S. Lewis). Hear him glory in the marvels... Continue Reading →

Can Anything Aid Our Worship?

Do we need things to help us worship? We may not say that we do, but do we act like it? In our hearts, do we believe we need certain things like specific instrumentation, arranging, or styles to aid us in worship? Here’s the biblical reality: everyone in our congregation and on our worship teams... Continue Reading →

The Surprising Holiness of God

Much has been made of the seraphim’s cry in Isaiah 6 of “Holy, Holy, Holy” is the LORD of Hosts, his glory fills the whole earth”. This is the only time in the Old Testament where a attribute of God is uttered three times over. Repetition is a Hebrew way of over-emphasizing or making something... Continue Reading →

The Dangers of Awesome Worship

Paul Tripp explains the dangers of idolatry in a talk at a worship conference a few years ago, and I found it quite compelling. You can listen to the whole thing here. He starts out with this phrase..."The danger of idolatry is never more present than in moments of supposed worship." Dang. Let that sink in... Continue Reading →

Spring 2018 Worship Collective: Role of the Spirit

0:00-26:36 Biblical references for the Spirit's work 26:36-34:10 Characteristics of Spirit-Led worship 34:10-49:31 Reflection on our ministry 49:31-1:09:00 Discussion questions followed by funny video. (sorry I screwed up the power point slide for this section!) Here is the link to the slides I used. This past week we discussed the role of the Holy Spirit in... Continue Reading →

Worship Workshop at GPBC

Here's the link to the pdf handout Here's the link to the video. This past Saturday the worship teams of HBC, GPBC, and Grace Bible Church of Pompton Plains had a great time discussing the nature of worship, the pitfalls of idolatry, and how to apply what we learned practically on stage. We broke down the following... Continue Reading →

A New Beginning

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at day-break to the place found the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realized the new wonder; but even they hardly realized that the world had died in the night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of the evening but the dawn.

Idolatry as Works-Salvation

In a shocking turn of the tables,  Paul equates idolatry with works righteousness that came from adhering to the Torah.  In Galatians in 4:8-11 it sounds like Paul is rebuking them for paganism, but the context of Galatians suggests otherwise... (ESV) Gal 4:8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by... Continue Reading →

Planning a Service

Here is a condensed outline of elements for planning a service I gleaned from Bob Kauflin's workshop on service planning. I try to keep these in mind no matter what the order or theme is for any given Sunday. I don't necessarily think each of these elements needs to have it's own specific place (like... Continue Reading →

A List of Benedictions

Why Benedictions? What exactly is a benediction? A benediction is a short, concise blessing from scripture that can be a challenge, an assurance, a promise, or principle to live by.  It can also pronounce protection, comfort, abundance, or some other word of assurance.  It represents a joyful call to unity, faith, patience in trial, and faithful practice for the church based on... Continue Reading →

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