Our life aspirations are something we spend a lot of our lives working toward. Diligence, planning and perseverance are necessary; we can’t expect them to just show up because we “trust God will give us the desires of our hearts.” Yes, God gives us the desires of our heart – some say He literally gives them to us, as in, ‘grants us the desires we have;’ some say that He is the one who places the desires in our hearts in the first place. Whichever you believe, or if even you believe both, my opinion is that God also gives us a mind and expects us to use it.

Continue Reading...

This isn’t a super hot topic in the Church today and it’s even less talked about in ministry circles. As a church leader, we are expected to “be the example” for the people. I’ve heard pastors preach, “Don’t come in here with your downcast face. That’s not the Christian life we want to present to non-believers!” So we put on the “shiny happy people” mask and do well at faking it.

But reality is that sometimes life just stinks. Things don’t always go as we plan and our Christian life isn’t always a constant spiraling up toward God. If fact, if you are a faithful follower of Jesus, YOU WILL experience times of discouragement. There is no example in the Bible of anyone who never suffered for Christ in some way. I think sometimes our unwillingness to embrace the suffering actually keeps us from precious encounters with the Father…

Continue Reading...

Worship Band Rehearsal

Jimi Williams —  June 25, 2011

One of the most asked questions I hear from worship leaders who are just starting to lead is how to organize and facilitate worship band rehearsals. This sounds fairly simple, but it is a pretty pasture filled with land mines!

I’ve been involved in worship, either leading or as a musician, for the last 12 years and I’ve had all different experiences with rehearsals, good and bad. If you want your band to run screaming from the building, vowing to never play their instrument again, here’s my top list of surefire irritations.

1. Don’t prepare anything in advance. Nothing is more frustrating to the band than for the leader to show up with a big stack of song sheets, plop them down on floor, and ask “so what do y’all think we should sing this week?”. Part of the leadership role is to discern in advance which songs should be sung that week, pull appropriate charts (I’ll talk more about this next), and show up at rehearsal with a thought out plan. This doesn’t mean you can’t make changes, but at least everyone has a starting point…

Continue Reading...

Clapping in Worship

Jimi Williams —  February 22, 2011

“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy”. Psalm 47:1.

With as much clapping as we do in church now days you would think that clapping in worship was mandated by the Lord. Not so. In fact, there are only 2 references in the NASB for clapping during worship celebration and one of them involves rivers and not people! Psalm 47:1 (shown above) and Psalm 98:8 that says “Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.”

Compare this to over 70 references for singing just in the Psalms and we begin to see how little clapping has to do with our biblical worship.

Continue Reading...

At first glance, if all you knew about Hillsong was from listening to their recordings or attending a concert, you might think that Hillsong is just a successful record label and publisher. It’s true they are hugely successful, launching worldwide church anthems such as Mighty To Save, Salvation Is Here and Forever Reign.

But at the heart, Hillsong is a local church and all their creative endeavors are a product of the ministry that happens at their home in Sydney, Australia. After spending the week “down under” with Hillsong, it’s obvious that everything they do flows out of the ministry. Every conversation about songs leads back to an experience or a particular ministry need at the church. All the worship leaders and musicians are serving weekly in various ways throughout the church.

Continue Reading...

This has been an unforgettable few days in Australia. I guess along with the rest of our nation, my family on holidays, watched horrified at the flood scenes on our TV screens, never imagining we would see this kind of devastation in our own country.

It was an amazing thing to see that our own feelings of wanting to do something, anything to help, were echoed in our church and then right across Australia. Everyone is doing what they can.

As we gathered together as a church last Sunday morning, we began to sing a version of the old hymn “It is Well with My Soul”. This song was originally written by a man after his own family had died in a shipwreck. It’s a song that says – “I will trust in God who is greater than any trial or circumstance…

Continue Reading...

Breaking Through

Audrey Assad —  September 28, 2010

I’ve read of Beethoven that, when his hearing was lost, he sawed the legs off his piano and laid its body down on the floor; then, with his head pressed against the floorboards, he pounded on the keys in an effort to hear the notes. He continued to write his symphonies even when one of his greatest tools—his hearing—was taken from him. Passion and perseverance are an explosive combination.

I should pray with that kind of unquenchable desire, especially when it sounds like God is silent. Like Beethoven, I ought to press my ear to the floor; I ought to search for the sound of His footfalls. I am “…a deaf man with my ear to the ground, listening for what You say…

Continue Reading...

This is a new favorite of ours and should be for any songwriter, musician, podcaster or videographer. Right out of the box we were very impressed with the construction and stand for the Yeti. It is extremely solid and looks amazing. There are more tools on the Yeti than are on Blue’s well loved USB Snowball. It boasts new functions and sound capabilities.

To start the Yeti is a multi-pattern USB microphone. It combines 3 capsules and four switchable pattern settings which make it useful for recording in stereo, recording a single vocal or instrument or capturing an entire room of sound. There is a built-in headphone amplifier which provides zero-latency monitoring and volume control for monitoring purposes. There is also an instant mute which is useful during playback or if you are using monitors other than headphones. Another new feature is the microphone gain located on the back of Yeti. This gives the Yeti a flexible gain structure. It works like a microphone preamp rather than forcing you to adjust it with software. Having headphone controls and mic gain controls make the Yeti operate like an audio interface for your computer…

Continue Reading...

Known

David Gutekunst —  September 21, 2010

One of the strange things about God’s watchfulness is that, unlike any human vision, His is not only rich in foresight (knowing each thought before it is in your mind, every word before it is on your tongue) and full to the brim with the knowledge of each past event in every human life lived on this planet, but also incisive in its searching–He is witnessing *you* — not just your actions or the things you do.

Continue Reading...

Restlessness

Audrey Assad —  September 15, 2010

It seems there is a primordial belief in every human heart that this life is not the pinnacle of existence. All religious walks reflect this instinct in some fashion, I think; the teaching of afterlife is not exclusive to Christianity. Man generally believes in some form of the Beyond, however he may choose to describe it, or whatever his theology may be. I’ve long believed this to be one of the things the writer of Ecclesiastes meant when he wrote that “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end”. (Ecclesiastes 3:9) . Eternity has been woven into the fabric of our being.

C.S. Lewis insightfully describes this instinct. From his book, Mere Christianity; “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” And St. Augustine of Hippo, hundreds of years before Lewis ever put pen to paper, encapsulated this very thought a little more simply in the quote from which the song Restless takes its inspiration; “You have made us for Yourself, oh God; and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” – St. Augustine, the Confessions of St. Augustine, book 1…

Continue Reading...
Page 10 of 12« First...89101112