CHRISTMAS SONG TUTORIAL FOR THE CHURCH: “Christ the Lord is born Today”

One of the reasons I moved away from traditional hymnody towards theologically rich modern worship was the excellent songwriting of Sovereign Grace Music. A few years ago I was blessed to lead Mark Altrogge‘s excellent modern Christmas song, “Christ the Lord is Born Today”, as originally recorded by Sovereign Grace Music.  

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Christmas Song Tutorials for the Church: “Mary did you Know?”

MaryI explained a bit about what this series is about in my last post POSTED HERE, so I won’t retread new ground, however I’m sure a few of you are puzzled: “Mary did you Know?” has been floating around for just under a quarter of a century! However, it’s a classic that moves my heart, & one that has some tricky spots for inexperienced musicians/worship leaders.

This tutorial video has two parts:

  1. A short intro & song demonstration and…
  2. A short breakdown of a few specific simplification strategies.

 Watch the video for more information:

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Christmas Song Tutorials for the Church: “Christmas Offering” by Paul Baloche

“I’ll bring an offering of worship to my King
No one on Earth deserves the praises that I sing
Jesus may you receive the honor that you’re due
Oh Lord, I bring an offering to You”

Are you looking for new songs to lead this Christmas? I know I always feel some trepidation approaching the holidays – expectations are high, & everyone seems to have an opinion. It often makes me cringe at the impending “celebration”, and that’s NOT right… but it’s true.

  • For one, we hear the SAME SONGS…over…and over…AND OVER
  • Secondly, the classics can be SO HARD to reproduce with a guitar-driven worship band, especially if you’re working with inexperienced musicians
  • Lastly, there’s such a flood of new songs hitting the market each year that it’s easier to just give up & return to those “same ole, same ole”, instead of seeking out a NEW “classic”.

These next few weeks I’ll be setting aside my normal serial blogs & reviews (for the most part) to share a series of tutorials. I’ll do the work of finding the songs, & teaching them, & you can grab the linked resources for the songs that will work best for your congregation, & enjoy worshiping Him this season with church family! [Read more…]

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…]