Sing Unto the Lord

Mumma and Poppa G
March 31, 2007, 10:40 pm
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Yesterday we went to a conference about how to reach Generation Y with the gospel. Lots of good stuff was said by Greg Clarke and Jodie McNeill. One thing that stood out for me though was the two parents who shared what it is like to live with four Gen Y kids. It made me think of my own parents and things that they had done when Tim and I were growing up. Mum and Dad have always welcomed my friends into their home. There was rarely a holiday where Tim or I didn’t have mates come along. By doing this they became good friends with our friends. I don’t think I appreciated this at the time as much as I do now. It has meant that I have grown up close to my parents and my friends rather than abandoning my family to pursue friendship (a common Gen Y trait). Even now my parents have involved themselves in Night church as kind of ‘Mumma and Poppa’ Night church. they have a growth group in their house and they spend time with younger people even though Tim and I are not there as much. I appreciate this, and I hope that as I grow up I will keep looking for ways to be involved in ministry rather than just settling into life comfortably.


Renae, my Ruth
March 23, 2007, 7:19 am
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I haven’t listened to Mark Driscoll for a long time. My friend Tim uses me to download all his sermons and pass them on on a CD. This morning I decided I would listen to some sermons in the car and I downloaded the recent Redeeming Ruth series from Mars Hill church. The sermons themselves were good but the presentation of the bible reading was awesome. It presented the story to me in a way that was fresh and helped me to focus.
I was struck by Ruth’s character. She chooses responsobility to look after her mother-in-law over a more comfortable option living with her own people. She is smart and knows how she can get food and shelter for herself and Naomi. And finally, she puts God and worshipping him above anything else. She gives up her pagan life and joins with God’s people and trusts in his providence. I think that in many ways I have married Ruth. My wife has integrity, smarts, and good looks as well as a solid, unshaking faith in God and his promises. I love her and I hope that I can be Boaz to her. (P.S – not to copy other famous photo competitions that take place on other blogs, see how many people you can recognise in this picture… I’m related to at least 4 of them)

Love divine
March 10, 2007, 12:11 am
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This was my Grandpop’s favorite Hymn. It is fast becoming one of mine…

Love Divine
Love divine, all loves excelling-
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling.
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion.
Pure unbounded love thou art.
Visit us with Thy salvation.
Enter every trembling heart.

Come almighty to deliver-
Let us all Thy life recieve.
Suddenly return and never,
never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve Thee as Thy hosts above.
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing.
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation-
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before Thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

I’m working on a good tune to match these words.

Powerpoint backgrounds and fonts
March 9, 2007, 11:51 pm
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These are key. I have had a lot of fun this week downloading backgrounds and fonts. I feel that sometimes a good background makes a difference in a person as they come into church in whether they are instantly engaged as the song starts. Our youth group has developed this idea. Our night church hasn’t yet. I got mine from two sites Dave M put me on to. is where you can go to get cool fonts, and is where you can get free powerpoint backgrounds. Once you get into fonts and backgrounds though, you will never stop. it’s a drug.

final post for today
March 4, 2007, 3:41 am
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sorry. If you are reading these, read this post last. I went to Armidale for the weekend. It was really great to get away with Ren. We went to a wedding of some friends of ours Tim and Fiona. While we were away we got to listen to a lot of music so I am giving a new list.

  • Something Old: The Smiths – The Singles
  • Something New: The Herd – The Sun never sets
  • Something Borrowed: Chris Tomlin – Arriving
  • Something blue: The Black Keys – Rubber factory

The Herd were a particular favorite. I bought this album on friday. I am starting to enjoy Aussie Hip Hop a lot. I wonder how it would go in church?

Indelible Grace
March 4, 2007, 3:21 am
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I don’t mean to put up too many posts at once (I won’t be able to keep it up). I found this group a few weeks ago and I thought it would be helpful for others in Australia to know about them. Their name is Indelible Grace and they are a song writing group who spend their time putting old hymns to new music. They often do a great job of it too. I love hearing new tunes to old hymns. Not just because new is better and old sucks, but because this is the way that the hymns were meant to be written.
Believe it or not, Hymns were designed to take Gospel truths and continually contemporize them to the cultural climate of the time. This is why our hymnals have different music composers to lyric composers. People have changed the old tunes to fit a new culture while holding onto the rich lyrical content.
In fact to take it even further, Many hymns were written for the purpose of taking big theological themes and putting them to the words of the poor and the music of the poor (Isaac Watts, John Newton and William Cowper all intentionally wrote hymns for this purpose). This means that the Hymns were not written for an ivory tower audience but for the commoners and those on the streets. As well as this, Hymns were designed to be fluid and ever changing to match the style of the populace at the time.
I believe that in more recent years Hymns have taken on the exact opposite role and have stood as barriers to the unlearned and those who belong to popular culture. At Mens Convention we heard a new tune to the hymn ‘Nothing but the blood of Jesus’. It didn’t grab me straight away but I appreciate the effort being made to contextualise the older tune. I overheard a man in front of me say ‘What was wrong with the old tune. We shouldn’t go changing songs that we have sung for ages.’ I wonder what Robert Lowry (the original author) would have said to him.

Women as Worship Leaders
March 4, 2007, 2:19 am
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This is something that I have thought about a little bit. But not as much as Bob Kauflin who addresses this topic in his recent post on his blog ‘Worship Matters‘. One important factor he raises in deciding whether a woman leads the corporate worship time in the church is what exactly the ‘lead’ role entails. I’m keen to know your thoughts. Is the Worship Leader (I’m not that keen on the title, but it is a tricky one. A friend of mine calls the position the ‘WL’ so as not to rub anyone up the wrong way.) a teacher, a prophet, an evangelist? or should it be just someone who is turned up the loudest on the mixer? What should the role look like?
In our church we have seperated the position into an MC and a Song Leader, but there is opportunity for either role to teach at times. The way we have split it though makes it possible for those who are not confident at welcoming and in speaking to the congregation to still lead the singing, and it makes it possible for good leaders who are not singers to still lead from the front. I still believe that neither role at our church has firm boundaries yet and these still are being worked out. What does your church do? Do you have women leading your music? How can we pray for your music team?