Psalm 51-In the Old Fort Wayne Jail

Sin is a self-inflicted prison. David prays for God’s mercy as he pours out his sin to the Lord in search of forgiveness. Here is part of Psalm 51 from the old Fort Wayne jail.

Psalm 28-At Caesarea Philippi

We shot this video at Caesarea Philippi because the word we translate as “rock” in English is better understood as a cleft in a cliff. This is Psalm 28.

Psalm 126-In the Judean Desert

I had the chance to go to Israel and record 4 different psalms at various locations.  We recorded Psalm 126 at Wadi Qelt in the Judean Desert.

Psalm 65-On The Ancient Temple Steps

I had the chance to travel to Israel and share a number of psalms from different locations.  We shot Psalm 65 on the ancient temple steps…

Spoken Word: If He Didn’t / But He Did

This past weekend, we finished our year-long study of 1 Corinthians.  Because we studied Ch 15 ever Easter, we skipped it now.  However, I wrote a spoken word piece paraphrasing the chapter.  We had three actors read it at the top of our service to provide continuity in our study and to lead us into Holy Communion.

Here is my attempt to give a new voice to 1 Corinthians 15:12-28.

IF HE DIDN’T/BUT HE DID

If some say Christ rose, how can you say, “no”?

If he didn’t rise, then Christ is still brought low.

If he didn’t rise, it doesn’t matter what we believe or say.

Even more, we are liars, for we preach, “Jesus, The Way”.

If he didn’t rise, the dead will stay dead.

If he didn’t rise, Christ lies on his tomb’s bed.

And if he didn’t rise, your faith is empty, you’re full of sin,

And those who have already been…

…are lost.

If only for now we hope in Christ, we’re pathetic…

…and we too are lost.

But

Christ has risen, he is the first who, in death, sleep.

For since a man damned us, a man will also raise us.

For since Adam killed us, so our Christ must

give us life, but him first then you and me.

And in the end, with all power and authority,

defeating all dominions with his final breath,

He hands the Father a kingdom, defeating even death.

Then the Father, who put everything under the Son,

will have His will done.

And the Son, will put everything under the Father

so we will see God is our history’s author.

Praise our God, three-in-one.

All glory to Christ, the Risen one.

“Theology is the North Pole and art the South Pole of the Christian Life. Theology is the study of what God does and says; art is what people say and do in the entire context of what God says and does…. You can’t have one without the other…’”

-Eugene Peterson 1932-2018

[The end of the service] is more than a signal that the time of worship is over. It is the beginning of service in the world. . . . [We] need to give careful thought to the words and actions that send God’s people into the world.

-Robert Webber, Worship Is a Verb: Celebrating God’s Mighty Deeds of Salvation, Second Edition

Worship Is Singing

If you know me, you know that I believe all of life is worship, but singing is also worship! Think about it, besides 50 commands to sing, the Bible would be a lot thinner without any singing or songs in it. So let’s talk…why do believers sing?

New Song: Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)

One of the goals of our worship is to tell and retell the story of Jesus.  It’s not an original idea.  This is what the first disciples of Jesus did 2,000 years ago.  It’s also what Christians were doing way back in 1910.  In fact, the lyrics for our new song, Glorious Day,  are taken from the hymn “One Day” by John Wilbur Chapman, composed in 1910.  It’s the same retelling of the glorious gospel.

And, in God’s grace, there is more than one glorious day.  There is everyday (including right now!) that heaven is full of praise.  There is the day Jesus was born.  There is the day he died to save us.  There is the day he rose from the grave and there is the day he is coming again.  For all those days we sing, “Oh, glorious day!”

But, jumping in, where do we read about the praise of heaven?  I’m glad you asked!  Isaiah 6:2-4 says,

Above [the LORD] were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.  

And they were calling to one another:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”

At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.

That is what happened the day Isaiah showed up in heaven, but we assume that has been, is now and will be happening until eternity!  But then the bad news…

Vs1: One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be

Sin ruined everything.  I think that it’s important to remember that sin is a heart issue that we all struggle with and it manifests itself outwardly in all our actions.  That is why the Bible says this:

There is no soundness in my bones because of my sin.  My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. -Psalm 38:3b-4

Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. -Psalm 51:5

We are all infected and impure with sin.  When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. -Isaiah 64:6 NLT

But the song continues with the good news (it almost reads like a creed, doesn’t it!)…

Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin 
Dwelt among men, my example is He

CH: Living, He loved me (John 3:16John 15:912Galatians 2:20)
Dying, He saved me John 3:17John 10:11
Buried, He carried my sins far away Psalm 103:12Isaiah 43:25Isaiah 44:22Micah 7:19Romans 6:6-7
Rising, He justified freely forever Romans 3:21-26Romans 4:25Romans 8:3-4
One day He’s coming John 14:1-3Acts 1:9-111 Thessalonians 4:16Revelation 22:12, 20
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

As you can see, there is almost too much scripture to list to fit it all in.  This song basically tells the story of redemption from beginning to end.  It answers the question, “But what is the rest of the story?!?”  It does that by continuing with Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and 2nd coming!

Vs 2: One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Vs 3: One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore

Vs 4: One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved Ones, bringing
A glorious Savior, this Jesus is mine

So which day was more glorious?  The day Jesus was born?  The day he died for the sins of the world?  The day he rose victorious?  Or everyday that heaven is filled with God’s praises?  I’m don’t know.  But it makes me want to sing with believers from all of history…

Oh, Glorious day, Oh, Glorious day.