KINGDOM MONDAYS: the King’s Edicts

“The God of the Hebrews, Yahweh, was a king returned for His people – reclaiming His proper territory, proclaiming freedom for the captives, and His rule was FAIR and GOOD”

Last time we talked about the “missing piece” of the Kingdom of God from many believer’s faith. We concluded that LOVE for others is a sure-fire sign of that kingdom. However, we have yet to fully unpack what the kingdom IS. Well, as with any Earthly kingdom, the kingdom of God has it’s own rules. And, O, how we easily misunderstand them!

Most everyone has heard of the 10 Commandments, and many others also the Old Testament Law.  Laws written directly by God’s hands, we assume they must be all-around unique. But, they’re not, and in what way they’re not is incredibly interesting. The style/format would’ve been immediately recognizable to the believers of the day.  All of the Old Testament Law fits neatly within an ancient form of literature called a “Suzerian-Vassal Agreement.”  In ancient times these were penned whenever a King took a new territory: they spelled out the expectations they had of their new subjects, and set forth their promise to watch over them, and the consequences if they did not carry out their side of the bargain. For people who were often ruled by self-serving megalomaniacs – mere humans convinced they were God, who had multiple wives, and harems the size of which would make anyone blush – the rule of this good King – who had freed his people rather than enslaved them – was unique and beautiful. [Read more…]

On-Air Interview at Victory 91.5 in Atlanta

logoOne of my favorite radio stations is Victory 91.5 out of Atlanta. I fell in love with them while passing through Atlanta, toying with the radio dial: I heard a song by IHOP artist Misty Edwards on the radio. That is NOT so common. Followed by a mainstream Chris Tomlin tune. “Wow, that’s quite a mix“, I thought to myself. Then – BAM – a really incredible unsigned indie worship band out of Atlanta. I was hooked. [Read more…]

Songs of Thanksgiving: a short guide

GiveThanksSometimes the special seasons of church life can also be the most frustrating to plan for both a challenge & a blessing. Church attendance surges, but you don’t want to rehash the same set from last year, and the year before… and the year before that.

Well, Thanksgiving is almost upon us, & I have a few song suggestions, all of which are doctrinally rich, melodically memorable, work in multiple styles (lead them as ballads on a piano with a choir, or rock them out with a band) & sure to be a “win” with your congregations. [Read more…]

Resources: “When this Day Ends”

A couple weeks ago I announced the humbling things God has done with our latest single, “When this Day Ends”. Well, we’ve been blessed to work with a number of other great ministries working hard to help resource the local church. [Read more…]

Kingdom Mondays: Love as a sign of the Kingdom

Your kingdom come – Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
– Matthew 6:19

PuzzlePieceKingdomMy middle son, Tucker, used to love puzzles.  Not the simple wood-cut baby puzzles, but a good 100+ piece puzzle that would take anyone at least an hour to complete – he was only 3!  I remember once helping him with one that had him baffled and I have to admit that I, too, was stumped.  Turns out, we were missing two or three significant pieces, which really kept us from getting the bigger picture.

Likewise, the “Kingdom of God”.  Never mind that it’s the backdrop for the entirety of the whole Bible, mentioned no less that 140 times in the New Testament alone – we really don’t ‘get it’.  That’s just to say, the church as a whole hasn’t really committed much time coming to terms with the Kingdom – in many ways, it’s the ‘missing piece’ that makes us miss the big picture of our faith. [Read more…]