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» Giveaway Contest

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To celebrate the release of our first album, we're going to give a bunch of them away! There will be 10 winners chosen, and while all will receive a digital copy of Merciful to Me, the top five winners will receive:

1st prize: 5 CDs
2nd prize: 4 CDs
3rd prize: 3 CDs
4th prize: 2 CDs
5th prize: 1 CD

How to Enter
Contestants can receive up to four entries for promoting the new album by:
(Verification requirements in parentheses)

Posting a link on Facebook (send us a link to your facebook profile)
Posting a link on Twitter (send us a link to your twitter page)
Posting a link on a blog (send us a link to the blog)
Sending an email to your worship leader or pastor (send us the name of your church and worship leader)

The link to our album page is:
You can link to or embed the album artwork here:

Contact us with your links by September 30th, 2010. On October 1st, 2010, the winners will be chosen at random. The results will be added to this post and... (continue reading...)

» Merciful to Me Now Available on iTunes

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Wow - that was fast! Our new album, Merciful to Me, is now available in the iTunes music store. If you've already listened to the album, please add a rating or review, otherwise feel free to pick up a digital copy from iTunes or from our own store. It will be another couple of weeks before we have the physical CDs in hand.

The album is also now available at the Music Store

» Seven Biblical Values for Public Worship

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I thought it might be helpful to share seven values for public worship that have been articulated for my local church, Redeemer Bible Church, where I serve as Director of Worship Ministries. These values have arisen from my understanding of what the Bible teaches us about the priorities and role of public worship.

Worship is preeminently about God. In an age where man's needs and opinions are often elevated as primary in worship, we strive to make sure that the knowledge of God and heartfelt response to God are primary.

God is the only one worthy of praise. (Revelation 4:11, 22:9)
The reason we worship is to bring God pleasure. (Romans 12:1; Revelation 5:11-13)

Worship is Christ-centered. We desire that Jesus Christ and His work on the cross be at the center of our services.

Our worship is made acceptable to the Father through Jesus' continuing work as our Mediator. (Hebrews 10:19-22)
Our worship should join the eternal heavenly chorus by remembering Jesus' death and resurrection. (Revelation 5:11-13)

Worship is Scripture-centered. God's Word is the only sure means to know and enjoy Him, thus... (continue reading...)

» Album Update and Final Public Donation Request

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We've been pretty busy over the last few months (which is one reason we haven't not been posting much) with the summer album project. For those who haven't received updates on our supporter list, here's a brief overview of how the project is coming along.

April and May were spent doing lots of arranging and initial contact with dozens of musicians that we ended up recording with on this project. I had the privilege of working with some world-class musicians and arrangers, and of spending time with Steve Cook to get to know his engineering and production process and to work on fine-tuning some arrangements. We headed into the studio in early June with Jake Armerding to record a couple of songs live – Begone, Unbelief (bluegrass) and Glory Is Certain (celtic). I also brought my jazz quartet into the studio and recorded a live arrangement of Majestic Sweetness. In mid June I got the "hard rock" group together to record The River. July was spent laying down lots of individual parts for the remaining songs, including the orchestral songs There Is No Greater Portrait and O God the Holy Spirit, which... (continue reading...)

» Donate to Our New Album

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Earlier today I wrote an update about a new album that we're going to be working on this summer. If you read that post you'll get a glimpse of the scope of what we're hoping to accomplish musically and it's pretty ambitious. The Lord has allowed us to work with a producer and recording engineer who runs one of the top studios in town, and has given us a huge collection of musicians who are willing to help, some who aren't in a position to participate w/o compensation. We're estimating the cost of the album to be $12k. That number might shock some of you, but for the scope of the project, the facilities and equipment involved, and the musicians and arrangers, it's not astronomical.

I'm writing this follow-up to the project description to ask for your help in a very concrete way. If you believe in what we're doing or have enjoyed our first CD, would you prayerfully consider donating to our project before the CD is released? (target is this fall) We are a very small group of independent songwriters and all of the funds for Reformed Praise... (continue reading...)

» A Sermon on John 1:18

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I had the privilege of preaching this sermon to my local church family on Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Like Father, Like Son
John 1:18

I would like to start off by thanking those who serve us by taking care of our children on Sundays and Wednesdays. Those who have spent any time with my son Benjamin actually have a lot of insight into my personality, even if they don’t know me very well. Here’s a concrete example of how to know Ben is to know me. Last month I took him on a daddy-date to a monster truck show in Minneapolis for His fourth birthday. He absolutely loved it, but if you were with us you might have been hard-pressed to discern that. When I took him to his seat, the trucks were already “warming up” and were making a lot of noise. He managed to remain almost motionless – possibly even without blinking His eyes – even as I unbundled him from his winter gear and put his earplugs in. As I repeatedly shouted questions and explanations to Him, I realized that He was engrossed in the monster truck... (continue reading...)

» An Overdue Update

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Pardon the silence here for the past month or so. I've been putting most of my non-worship-leading-non-father-of-five focus on a top secret software project (well, I like to think it's top secret). Eric and I have met a couple of times this fall to work on our Hymns on God's Attributes project, and we have drafts of all 15 hymns completed (though several of them might not deserve the term "draft"!). We need to revise them and are still looking and praying about whether we can publish them as a small book with a "real" publisher. Here's one of my favorite verses from our recent trip, verse 2 of "The Lord is Merciful" which explains how God's mercy is demonstrated in the gospel:
The Lord has saved us from sin's pow'r according to His mercy;
When we were helpless and oppressed He looked on us with pity.
The merciful High Priest approached the mercy seat
And through His sacrifice paid our redemption's price
To demonstrate His kindness.

I've also been busy the past couple of weeks preparing for a free concert at my home church. If you're anywhere near Minneapolis, MN and are... (continue reading...)

» Book Give-away Blog Contest

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Through my blog, I'm giving away a couple copies of Russ Moore's book, Adopted for Life, to those who link to our song "Though I Was Born an Orphan" or pass it along to their pastor.

For entry details, go here. The contest is open through November 15.

» A Sermon on "How Firm a Foundation"

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The audio from my hymn-series sermon on "How Firm a Foundation" is now up:

How Firm a Foundation: Standing on the Word of God

» Worship Team Recruiting / Info Brochure

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Last week I wrote a pamphlet for prospective members of our "Song" team (otherwise known as the "Worship" team) and thought it might be worth sharing here. Hopefully you'll find a few ideas that will help you structure your music ministry or what you communicate to prospective team members.

This little brochure has been created to answer common questions about who participates in leading our worship services and what’s involved in serving in this way.

We would first like to express how delighted we are that you have the interest and desire to be involved with the public worship of God. Worshipping God is one of our highest privileges and joys, and making music for His glory and the edification of His people is a great honor and can be very satisfying. Second, we’d like to point out that even if you aren’t up front, in a very real way you are still participating in our music. We believe that music in worship is designed chiefly as an aid to congregational singing and do all that we can to encourage, invite, and make participation by all possible. Before you make music... (continue reading...)

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