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» Suggestions for Reformation Sunday

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This coming Sunday, October 31st, is celebrated as "Reformation Sunday" by many protestant churches. This is a day when we take time to acknowledge and give gratitude to God for the sacrifices made and doctrine defended during the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe. If you've never publicly acknowledged the Reformation during a worship service, let me make two suggestions. The first one is simple: use hymns from Martin Luther. His famous hymn A Mighty Fortress Is Our God has been called the battle hymn of the reformation and includes several of the biblical principles that Luther fought to return to the church. Another popular hymn text from Martin Luther is From Depths of Woe I Cry to Thee. I set an alternate English translation into a more traditional sounding tune in the song By Grace Alone. Indelible Grace also has a contemporary tune for this hymn.

The second suggestion is to use the service liturgy to rehearse the biblical principles that the reformers taught and defended. I can't remember where I got this idea and some of the liturgy text, but it may have been from my friend Ron... (continue reading...)

» What the Bible Has to Say About Singing, Part 5

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Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. - Colossians 3:16 (NASB)

Colossians 3:16 instructs us about congregational singing in at least 7 ways.

The CAUSE and COROLLARY of our singing is God’s Word
God’s Word should be the CONTENT of our singing
Singing is a COMMUNITY activity
Singing is a COMMAND
» There are a variety of CATEGORIES of congregational songs
The CORE of singing is the heart attitude behind it
The CULMINATION of singing must be God’s glory


There are a variety of categories of congregational songs
"...with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs..."

We've already seen that we should sing biblically saturated and gospel informed songs when gathered as a congregation and that everyone is commanded to participate in singing. Do we have any insight into what kinds of songs we are to sing? Should they be short, simple songs, long Psalm paraphrases, four part hymns, choir anthems, or solo presentations? While this passage and the New Testament don't go into as much detail... (continue reading...)

» New Sheet Music for O Weary Saint

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O Weary Saint is a hymn text that Eric Schumacher and I wrote a couple of years ago on songwriting retreat. After writing it for the tune "Love Unknown" by John Ireland, we found that it was still under copyright. The John Ireland Trust graciously allowed us to use it, and the song has been a blessing to me, Eric, and many others as well. To prepare for our upcoming release concert I created a score that follows the arrangement that appears on our latest album, Merciful to Me. The three page score contains piano, cello, and flute and could be adapted for use with other instruments as well (at the concert we won't have a cellist so I've transposed the cello part for violin). You can grab the score on the right-hand side of the song page for O Weary Saint. I created a separate post about this because such a small change to the song would likely fall below the radar of most readers, and if you have any use for a full piano score that sounds like the recording this should be helpful.

» What the Bible Has to Say About Singing, Part 4

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Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. - Colossians 3:16 (NASB)

Colossians 3:16 instructs us about congregational singing in at least 7 ways.

The CAUSE and COROLLARY of our singing is God’s Word
God’s Word should be the CONTENT of our singing
Singing is a COMMUNITY activity
» Singing is a COMMAND
There are a variety of CATEGORIES of congregational songs
The CORE of singing is the heart attitude behind it
The CULMINATION of singing must be God’s glory


Singing Is a Command
"singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God"

Notice that Paul doesn't simply instruct leaders to sing to the people, nor does he only instruct those who have exceptional musical gifting to sing; he instructs all believers to sing. Since singing is a community activity, the entire community should participate. When a group of people who are united in the celebration of some shared ideology or pleasure, they often sing about it. Consider how many nations, including America, sing a national anthem at... (continue reading...)

» Giveaway Contest Results

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Earlier in September we started a giveaway contest. To enter you simply had to spread the word about our new album via a variety of social media outlets. We're grateful for the many people who took us up on our offer and entered, and for anyone else who spread the word without actually entering the contest. We're glad to announce the 5 winners, chosen at random. Each has been contacted via email:

1st - Jason Delgado
2nd - Nick Smith
3rd - Deon Bell VanNostrand
4th - Aaron Wilson
5th - Kimberly Davidson

Even though the contest is over, we'd still really appreciate your help in spreading the word about this album. If you believe in what we're doing, or just like the music, please spread the word!

» What the Bible Has to Say About Singing, Part 3

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Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. - Colossians 3:16 (NASB)

Colossians 3:16 instructs us about congregational singing in at least 7 ways.

The CAUSE and COROLLARY of our singing is God’s Word
God’s Word should be the CONTENT of our singing
» Singing is a COMMUNITY activity
Singing is a COMMAND
There are a variety of CATEGORIES of congregational songs
The CORE of singing is the heart attitude behind it
The CULMINATION of singing must be God’s glory


Singing Is a Community Activity
"...with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another..."

Though the aim of Christian worship, singing included, is the glory of God, He is not merely glorified directly as He hears and enjoys our praise. God has also designed singing for our benefit as we sing to one another. Another way of putting it is that singing has horizontal as well as vertical aspects. Have you ever noticed that some of our worship songs address the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit directly, while... (continue reading...)

» Merciful to Me Now Shipping

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Just a short post to broadcast the great news - the physical CDs are now shipping! Thanks for your patience as the manufacturing process takes quite a while. It was worth the wait as the digipaks came out great - the graphics and layout look stunning. Kent Swecker of A New Machine did a fantastic job and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him for any print, web, or music design projects. I've attached a copy of the web-quality PDF of the packaging for you to check out - it should appear as a PDF icon in the right-hand column.

Even if you already have the digital version, consider purchasing a copy or two as gifts. Use and enjoy our album to the glory of God!

» What the Bible Has to Say About Singing, Part 2

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Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. - Colossians 3:16 (NASB)

Colossians 3:16 instructs us about congregational singing in at least 7 ways.

The CAUSE and COROLLARY of our singing is God’s Word
» God’s Word should be the CONTENT of our singing
Singing is a COMMUNITY activity
Singing is a COMMAND
There are a variety of CATEGORIES of congregational songs
The CORE of singing is the heart attitude behind it
The CULMINATION of singing must be God’s glory


God’s Word Should Be the Content of our Singing
"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”

Singing is one way to allow God's Word to richly dwell within us. While there are non-musical ways to allow God's Word to richly dwell within us such as memorization and meditation, singing is a uniquely powerful mechanism that helps us engage our hearts as we memorize and meditate on lyrics. God's Word can richly... (continue reading...)

» What the Bible Has to Say About Singing, Part 1

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Today I'm introducing a series of seven short articles outlining what the Bible has to say about singing. This series will not attempt to be a comprehensive list of everything the Bible has to say about singing, but will draw out some implications and applications about congregational singing using Colossians 3:16 as a framework.

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. - Colossians 3:16 (NASB)

This passage instructs us about congregational singing in at least 7 ways.

» The CAUSE and COROLLARY of our singing is God’s Word
God’s Word should be the CONTENT of our singing
Singing is a COMMUNITY activity
Singing is a COMMAND
There are a variety of CATEGORIES of congregational songs
The CORE of singing is the heart attitude behind it
The CULMINATION of singing must be God’s glory


For today's article, Part 1, we will look at #1 above.

The Cause and Corollary of our singing is God's Word
"Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you"

A. The CAUSE... (continue reading...)

» Two Myths About Worship Leading

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Our very own Jeff Bourque has posted a couple of helpful articles for worship leaders over at congregationalsongs.com

Myths about Leading: My Heart Is Not Right

Jeff diagnoses several of the spiritual and emotional states leaders find themselves in as they prepare to lead worship.

Myths about Leading: It’s All Up to Me

Jeff discusses a common response when it appears that people just "aren't getting it" - to be anxious, fearful, or manipulative and try to influence people by the way we lead, not the Savior we're leading them to


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