Confidence Unshaken

Sarah Hart —  August 9, 2013

Summer of 1985: I brooded, in all my teenage glory, on my front porch on Maple Street around midnight. Bonding with my Scorpions cassette, “Rock You Like A Hurricane” on constant rewind. I had less confidence than a sandwich, was moody and sullen, restless leaning toward reckless. Oozing dissatisfaction. Going through the motions of living, waiting and waiting and waiting. Thinking to myself, “God, I hate this town and I want out. I’ll get out. Nothing good ever happens in this place; why the heck did you plant me here? I want more.”

I did, eventually, leave that little town (which now, most days, I want to go back to!). I’ve been blessed to spend these 20 years now traveling, and meeting so many gifted music ministers all across the country who are doing the work of the church; which is quite hard and often impossible, thankless work. I’m inspired by the talent, the time, the selflessness that I see; the deep desire and beautiful ability to bring the hearts of worshippers to a different level with just the offering of a song. Many times, I see the joy poured out with every note. But also many times, I see the hurt on some of those musicians faces; “I am so tired. Are they even listening? My confidence is shaken. I really want more. God, please, is this it? Why did you plant me here? I want to be satisfied…”

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Don’t Become Shark Bait

Josh Pauley —  August 7, 2013

I grew up on the coast. Being so close to the ocean, I spent a lot of my time on the sandy shores of the beach. When you grow up around water and it’s all you know you are sometimes tempted to take chances that really aren’t the smartest decisions. When hurricanes were off the coast creating massive swells you’d head out to surf or bodyboard. When there was a strong under toe and they posted “No Swimming” signs, you’d still swim, because those were meant for tourists and people who didn’t grow up with the ocean as their swimming pool!
However, there was one thing you didn’t do… you didn’t become shark bait. If there were sharks spotted in the area, you didn’t get in the water. It was an easy decision and one that no one ever questioned….

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Aaron began writing Mighty Fortress two days before his youngest son was born. He had been reading through the verses that talk about fixing our eyes on Jesus and our hearts and minds on the things above. As he read he thought he wanted to write a song inspired by these verses but wanted to put a little bit of a twist on them. He wanted to write about the things that God will not do.

Two days after beginning Mighty Fortress, his son was born with Down Syndrome, a major heart defect, and profoundly deaf in one ear and severely deaf in the other. It was a devastating day for his family. Their world had been rocked…

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From time to time we will post a list of music we like, titled “What We’re Listening To.” We hope to give a specific theme to each list to make it a little more exciting and we want you all to join in with us too! So look over our lists and then leave your own list in the comments. We can’t wait to see what you are listening to as well.

The theme this time is On An Endless Road Trip. Here’s the criteria for each list…

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What if your church couldn’t pay you for leading worship, would you do it anyway? Would there be a noticeable difference in the quality of the worship?

This question has generated much discussion here on the blog. Many of you have commented with strong opinions on the idea of getting paid to lead worship or any other type of ministry. Seems like this is a topic that needs to be fleshed out further…

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Anchor by Hillsong LIVE

Josh Pauley —  July 30, 2013

Anchor was written by Ben Fielding & Dean Ussher. Though inspired by Hebrews 6:19 that says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul…,” it had a more personal connection for Dean when he first heard it. Just a few months earlier Dean and his wife had lost a baby and the very passage that Ben had used to start the idea for a song was what they had used to get them through that tough time in life. They knew once they started that they had to finish the song.

We have an unshakable promise through the hope of the cross. When men swear by something, they swear by something higher than themselves to seal their promise. Because there is no other name higher than the name of God, He put an end to all arguments and sealed our hope of everlasting life with Him by the sacrifice of His Son…

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Worship and Creative Director of The Vine Church in Hong Kong, Tom Read shares his experience of leading worship for a diverse congregation. As a UK native, Tom focuses on bridging the gap between Western and Eastern culture. He also gives insight into the software, apps and instruments he uses in his songwriting and planning as well as the importance of using creative and nonconventional methods of worship…

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The Same Power was written by Ben Cantelon and Nick Herbert. The inspiration for the song is taken from Ephesians, where it says, “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe Him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seats Him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the Heavenly realms.”

The thought that we share in the same power of God that raised the dead to life, made the blind to see, healed the sick, and commanded the lame to walk is incredibly empowering. When we walk in faith and believe that the power of Christ is alive and operating in us we have the opportunity to share in the story of God…

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Scott Cash began writing God Of Brilliant Lights while sitting in his yard one beautiful, sunny afternoon. As he sat there he began to think of the privilege and responsibility we have to be God’s light to the world. In his head, he had an image of God using us to take light and tear through darkness and then see His light flowing throughout the world and spreading love and hope and life to people that haven’t experienced those things.

In the meantime, Aaron Shust was finishing up his album in the studio with Scott’s brother, Ed Cash. Towards the end of the process Ed asked Aaron to listen to one more song and see what he thought. When Aaron heard the song he immediately knew he had to help finish adding the bridge and put it on his record. So that’s what he did…

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Social media has been a terrific discovery for sharing information and keeping large numbers of people up to date on current and future happenings. Christians have fully embraced the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for personal and ministry applications.

Like any other technology, social media outlets are amoral. What we choose to do with them will determine whether they bring hope or discouragement. The danger of social media is that often we are willing to post a comment or information that we would never share with someone face to face…

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