Advent 101: What it is, Who it’s for, & How to Celebrate it

AdventThe word wasn’t even in the periphery of my vocabulary growing up. Even after I began following Jesus, it seemed like a code word – something people “in the know” tossed around as though they all were in on the secret: “Advent”.

Many Christians don’t talk about it at all. The day after Thanksgiving they kick into Christmas-mode & ride the Christmas train up through New Years Eve. Often those who do speak of Advent talk about it as an assumption. If you get up the nerve to ask about it, you tend to get the “you-seriously-don’t-know?” look. [Read more…]

A Christmas Gift Guide for the Worship Pastor

NO PARKING(2)Some people are just harder to buy for than others. As a Creative & a Worship Leader I will admit that I’m one of those people. Folks like myself love gifts that help us more effectively be who we are. I’ve compiled a collection of unique, fun, & helpful “dream gifts” for the worship leader from a wide variety of price points. If someone you love serves a local church with his or her musical gifts, this list if for you. [Read more…]

NEXT: Christmas Worship 2015

 

Screen shot 2015-11-23 at 10.31.45 PMWith Christmas fast approaching, I’d like to pitch a few last-minute options for those of you who still have a few question marks in their Holiday set-lists. Though these might not all be quite as “indie” as I usually shoot for, they are all quality new songs worth considering. [Read more…]

We, the Least: on Honor

NO PARKINGHave you ever spent time with someone and afterward just felt very happy to be you? You knew you were loved, no matter what, & your name was “safe” in their mouth? It’s true of all of us: when I like being me around you, I like you. This is the natural impact of a person of honor. Considering the sorts of people who were drawn to Jesus, & how many were, I think it’s fair to say that Jesus was a person of honor.  [Read more…]

NEXT: Fresh New Worship – October 2015

Screen shot 2015-11-07 at 10.39.20 PMEnjoy this curated list of (mostly) newly released worship songs for corporate worship, youth worship, specials, “soaking” songs, as well as personal listening.

I know it’s already November, but one song I wanted to include hadn’t hit iTunes until the first week of November!

Here they are: [Read more…]

How to Wait

HowToWaitI’m sure you’ve been there. Keenly aware that “the next” is right over the horizon, but you recognize that all of your strivings can’t make anything happen. It can turn into a place of great frustration – even bitterness – if we let it. The good news is this: you don’t have to let it!

Over the years I’ve discovered a few practical steps that have helped me maintain focus during those seasons that it would have been easy to let discouragement sink in: [Read more…]

GUEST REVIEW: “COMING ALIVE” – Dustin Smith (by Cyle Augusta)

If any of you know my wife, it is very much NOT like her to want to review a CD. Last week that all changed, when she asked me if she could be a guest-blogger on my site. This is what inspired her to want to write a review… welcome to my blog, Cyle Augusta!:

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It was a normal school morning. Hopping in the van, all three boys buckled in and ready to go. Starting the car, I immediately discovered a new CD in the player. The husband had just returned from a Nashville trip and returned with gifts, so I listened. The CD was on track #6 and the words were “Let the spirit of the Lord come rushing in, rushing in, rushing in…” In a moment we all found ourselves singing – worshiping along. The kids wanted to listen to #6 again. And again. After dropping them off at school, I pulled the CD out to see who it was that had just led worship in our mini-van: Dustin Smith – “Coming Alive,” Integrity Music. We listened to it nonstop in the coming days! We’d repeat on one song until I’d venture to another and – who would’ve known – the next one was just as good!  Every song was just as powerful as the last!  [Read more…]

Fresh New Songs for Worship, Sept 2015

60dd41a2a9fc811d30af8d3587946bf36710184632a8f7937fed197d256a3946a4e39e86be38cb8f67026a42b472e969c7b4e8c4bd5488c306227a459d13f8ded511976cb96e732b2513b0967afc1826Last month I shared my first “New Songs” Spotify collection – a tradition I used to maintain on a now extant feature of iTunes.

Written on the tail-end of September, the end of my month had a few surprises, so this is sliding into “home” a minute late.
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Fresh New Worship Songs – August 2015

Screen-shot-2015-08-05-at-9.37.46-PMIt can be hard to find solid, new corporate worship songs for your congregation, especially if you don’t subscribe to the “one-size-fits-all” mentality of only pulling from the CCLI Top 100. Well, I collect new songs year round, listen, play along, & analyze to see which ones float to the top – that’s to say, I’ve done some of the work for you. Here are my most recent picks. [Read more…]

Saint Lewis live at the Gathering Place MAIN EVENT

Jamie Miley with Saint Lewis at the Gathering Place Main Event

Photo by Chris Moncus Photography for the Gathering Place, featuring Jamie Miley on lead guitar.

Have I told you how much I love the Gathering Place?

Late Summer, 2002, I was touring the midwest in support of my CD at the time, when I received an urgent call. I needed to immediately make my way to St. Simons – an island off of coastal Georgia (at the time I didn’t know Georgia HAD a coast), between Savannah, GA & Jacksonville, FL. My job for the Summer?: Worldwide Discipleship Association had assigned me to oversee/disciple the college-aged guy Summer interns when the current leader had to leave due to a family emergency. I had no idea what I was in for! [Read more…]