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Final Creative Project for ICEWS – Song w/Mp3

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Thelogy Course with Dan Wilt

Note: not great quality to listen to…but listen for content. it’s a project for a course in worship theology. ruff cut Mp3. i quickly dubbed a few extra sounds in from the church balcony soundset while VBS was just finishing up.   TO LISTEN TO THE SONG, PLEASE CLICK HERE. OR copy and paste the following URL into your address bar.

https://udrive.oit.umass.edu/xythoswfs/webui/_xy-3257051_1-t_57HnqEGV

Title: THE WORD OF THE LORD IS RIGHTEOUS

Lyrics: adapted from Psalm 33, The Bible

Music: by Jamison Burnside

Verse 1 (v.4, 21)

…..Em…………………………………. D……………………. Em

The Word of the Lord is righteous, And everything He does is good

…..Em…………………………………. D……………………. Em

The Word of the Lord is righteous, And everything He does is good

……Am………………… Em……………D………………….Em

Our heart shall rejoice in Jesus. We have trusted in His holy name !
……Am………………… Em…………… D ………………..Em

Our heart shall rejoice in Jesus. We have trusted in His holy name!

Verse 2 (v.22, 21)

………..Em ……………………………D……………………. Em

Let Thy mercy, O Lord be upon us, According as we hope in Thee

………..Em …………………………..D……………………. Em

Let Thy mercy, O Lord be upon us, According as we hope in Thee

……Am………………….Em……………D…………………..Em

Our heart shall rejoice in Jesus. We have trusted in His holy name!
……Am………………….Em……………D………………….Em

Our heart shall rejoice in Jesus. We have trusted in His holy name!

Bridge: (v. 12, 20, 1)

Am…………………………..Em

Bless’d is the nation, whose God is the LORD

B7…………………………. Em…….E7

Bless’d are the people who bear His Name

Am……………………….. Em

Bless-ed are all those who hope in the LORD,

Am ……..B7………Em

He is our help and shield!

…….Em...D……..Em………D……………..Am…….B7……..Em

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous! It is fitting to sing His praise!

EXPLANATION OF SONG:

This song is based on Psalm 33. I found that it really expressed a biblical view and world view shared in my local congregation. We have a few Messianic Jewish people in our church who have taken much time to teach us of Old Testament culture and the Jewish festivals and feasts. Our hearts have become “one”, thus in the third and fourth lines of the verses, the psalm speaks of one heart: our heart.

In The Word of the Lord is Righteous, I have incorporated the melodies and tempos of the Hebrew people, and contemplated on what this Psalm may have sounded like. It is a joyful song, singing of the promises of God and His unfailing love and goodness. The song should be sung with glee from the heart.

I have also transposed the name of the Word as Jesus in the third and fourth lines, to catapult the concepts into the New Testament church. The Word is another Name we use to describe Jesus Christ. Using this phrasing brings a marriage of the old covenant with the new, and also unites the actual people in my local congregation. In order to make this song truly fit our people and be something we can sing as a community, I felt this insertion of Jesus’ Name would excite us.

Our corporate worship is vital in these days and times. As a worship leader, I have a deep concern that the people relate to one another, and not only relate to the Lord. We desperately need God, but we can find Him in our neighbor, and we can express Him to one another through our lives. Corporate worship of God and singing together brings back a strength we miss when we retreat to only intimate worship.

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August 8, 2008 Posted by | ICEWS eb 2008 | , | Leave a comment

Week Four: Discussion Question Response

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Thelogy Course with Dan Wilt

Week Four: Christian World View

Origins :Who is God, who are human beings, and why are we here?

God is the Creator of all things in heaven and on the earth, all things temporal and eternal. God exists in eternity, and outside of eternity, for: He is the beginning, the Alpha, and He is the end, the Omega (Revelation 22:13). God exists in every dimension, both imaginable and unimaginable.

God created man, in His own image, to be His expression into his created order.
We are the image-bearers of God on the earth, reflecting God to the world, and reflecting
to Him all that He has made us to be. We reflect to him the glory and praises of His creation. Man is here not for a display of God’s ability to create, but for the purpose of reflecting back to him a true love, a complete praise for all that He is, aside from creating. The divine fellowship of man and God is the total fulfillment of being for man, as we are made complete in Him. It is a self-restored completion of Himself, as He interacts with His Creation redeemed as holy, and as He reaps the praises of His Creation.

God exists in three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: the triune God. This expression is His expression to man. All three are equally involved in the Creation story, in perfect harmony.

What happened to us along the way, and what did God do?

Man was made in the image of the God, for the purpose of fellowship and expressions of worship to God. As created beings, in His image, having “the very ilk of God” within us, (Wilt, week three lecture), we naturally desire to be creative, ourselves. This propensity to be co-creators became a source of pride, thus severing the perfect and holy relationship first known in the garden with God.

Through Israel, God has been inviting reconciliation to Himself all throughout scripture.
The God story has been told and re-told throughout the history of Israel. Israel disobeyed, and judgment was imposed. Repentance was called for, and fellowship was restored. This pattern is repeated over and over through the scriptures, until the arrival of the true King, Jesus Christ. Through Christ, God provided the way for the covenant between God and man to be restored.

What is the Kingdom of God, and how is it expressed in the world/in the human
family/by the Church?

When Jesus conferred the Kingdom of God unto His disciples, He made himself the Lamb, offering his own blood as the blood of the new covenant with man. Restoring the kingdom in his blood was not at first understood, but now stands as the greatest atonement ever given us. The Kingdom of God is now, and will be, just as God was, and is and is to come. There is a spiritual element to the Kingdom, as well as a physical realm, and a future manifestation.

The Kingdom of God is expressed in the world by way of our lives, our actions, our obedience and allegiance to the true King, Jesus Christ. We are to live in His promises, reflecting His love to all, and His glory to the world. As we become this mirror to the world, He will act upon the hearts of men and draw them to Himself.

The church must serve to foster community among believers, to draw on the God stories and mark this time in history. As Salvific story tellers, (Wilt, week one lecture) we carry the imprint of God’s creation in our hearts to the rest of the world, lifting up the name of the King. We carry the flame.

Endings: where is human history going – what will be our final destiny?

Jesus’ ultimate return is our hope, and our future. God has a plan that began before time began, and that plan includes having an eternal fellowship with us through Jesus Christ. We are assured as individuals that we were thought of even before time began.
“your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16, Bible, NIV).
We are assured of His ultimate victory over sin, and of his earthly and heavenly reign.

While we live within this created order, we are also citizens of the eternal order, being provided a shared experience with Him through Jesus Christ. The destiny of man, the purpose of man, is to glorify God. It is because of His great love that He turned His heart toward us, rescued us and completed His plan for us.

With all this said, there can be no greater joy fathomed than to spend eternity with God: none other!
“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co–heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:17)
In looking forward to sharing in God’s glory, we must be able to grasp our initial salvation, which is a miracle. Jesus will establish His earthly kingdom, which we are destined to take part in.

The God-story does not end there.
“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part,
but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:9-13)

July 24, 2008 Posted by | ICEWS eb 2008 | 1 Comment

Week Three: Second of Two Reflections on media for icews

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Thelogy Course with Dan Wilt

I am reflecting here on N. T. Wright’s article, “The Word In Worship”.

He writes about the “almost cavalier way in which scripture is treated within worship”.

This observation is not far off from the truth, at all. Recalling a song-writers’ workshop that I attended two years ago, the emphasis was indeed on small snippets of scripture becoming the basis for new songs. These short verses which make up a song are actually part of a larger context, and when we ignore that in favor of writing a new song, we miss out on the richness of meaning that was intended in the writing.

I tend to agree with Wright, in that an understanding of what is going on around that snippet of scripture is vital to walking away from church with an enriched understanding of God’s character or without being able to agree down through the ages with the truths passed on. How, then, can we pass on these truths if we merely sing portions of them?

In the blended worship style, which covers the gamut from Hymns and liturgy to the pop choruses we hear today, there is still a danger in missing the point with scriptural songs if they are only included to satisfy a requirement of blending in. Take, for example, the opening hymn. An opening hymn should be a call to worship, and several elements are looked at in choosing the right hymn. It should be a life-giving message, perhaps, which unites the weary into the glorious presence of God, ushering them right into a corporate stanza of praise. Would it be fair to say, though sad to admit, that occasionally the hymn finally chosen has been categorized not by message, but by its tempo? Hmmm.

I am curious to dig into some of the prayer books mentioned by Wright: for example, he mentioned St. Augustine and Bernard of Clarvaux. I am curious to see how the people embrace these prayers, and how we could fit them into our service.

For me, meditating on the scripture our pastor is planning to preach from helps me to prepare my heart for worship. Sometimes he sets a season for a topic, and I can get an idea of what songs may glorify God in the message. Pastor and I had a great discussion once about planning service, and we both agreed that the worship needed to glorify God, usher the people into that place of encounter with His holy presence, and sing of eternal truths.

We have begun to add readings of the scripture back into our services, but not to standardize the service; rather to enlighten the people to reading scripture as part of our worship of the Lord.

Finally, I’d like to add that I’ve taken lately to doing some of my worship planning from the seats in the sanctuary. What if I were a person who came to church for the first time ever? What would I need to hear? Or, suppose I came in tired of life, ready to give up? It’s been so many years since I had one of those experiences where I did not know what to expect from worship. As leader, I always know what is on the slate. So, in reviewing these great needs that people carry on their shoulders into service, it could very well be that the tried and true prayers, the pilgrimages of the saints gone by, could offer solace and strengthen faith just as well today as they did long ago?

July 24, 2008 Posted by | ICEWS eb 2008 | Leave a comment

Week Two: Reflections on Media for icews

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Thelogy Course with Dan Wilt

In Week two, we began to dig into understanding God as Creator, King, Trinity and Savior. A simple scan of my own history as a Christian touched on all of these ideas, but to really flesh them out, I think it’s important to, in a way, stop my own pattern of thought so that I can replace what may erroneously be in this old noggin. I admit that I have a spattering of truths in me, all trying to connect at one pivotal point. I’m hungry for that to happen, like a sudden ‘Aha!’.

Side Note : There is so much to read, watch and listen to, that I’m now trying to re-divide the information back into it’s proper week. (I watched all of the video content and read most of the magazine articles first because is was so exciting!) Some of the articles I have seen before in my subscriptions, but so see them all together in light of what we are studying is really cool. End side note.

Throughout my Christian development, my thoughts have traveled along many of the same thoughts that are expressed in this week’s articles. I remember so clearly, as a young pre-teen, wondering on how people who are Christian could separate themselves from the Jews. Our Lord and Savior is a Jew! First, as a person who walks after Christ, His love should bring us together, not separate us.

Brown and Williams discuss what they call, “the retelling of the story” in their article, “Who Is the God We Worship”. I stumbled upon the Messianic message in music years ago through Arnie and Jonit Klein, who now reside in Israel. Their music washed over me in our church on the day they visited us. Here, finally, I heard some truth that seemed to be missing in the music of the church. The cry of Jesus with the cry of Y’shua! Another example is Paul Wilbur, who has taken us to the very Wailing Wall in corporate worship. The Hebraic melodies, some with untranslated Hebrew lyrics, some with lyrics that celebrate the fullness of the Gospel: I have become, through music, very connected with the vine that I’ve been grafted into.

“God is a person, and personality is self-revealing. And we only know Him as He discloses Himself to us.” (Who is the God We Worship?, Williams and Brown) This is true corporately, as the early Christians were able to form as a group, and as we now define ourselves in modern Christian denominations. This is also true individually, that God still desires to self-reveal. The call to one’s heart can come through a corporate setting, but the decision to latch oneself onto the Truth, is a deep-seated heart decision. The transforming work of Christ is individual, as is the reward reaped. This goes idea goes back to Mc Laren talking about the various groupings of the “Larger We” and the smallest “We”. God as Creator keeps jumping out at me through this week’s readings.

It must have been an incredible revelation for John to have to put into words what he came to understand in God. Williams and Brown remarked, “John calls him God, but not all of God”, in referring to Jesus. His mind must have been spinning; we still cannot fathom this with our human minds.

July 23, 2008 Posted by | ICEWS eb 2008 | Leave a comment

Week One Reflection on Media (icews)

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Thelogy Course with Dan Wilt

N.T. Wright states in his interview that the “church is called to make articulate the praise of all creation…that we are given a mind of words to sum up all of creation’s praise”.

When I heard him say that, I immediately began to trace through the catalog of songs and hymns which I know, and wonder if they had been successful at summing up the praise of creation. I began to wonder whether the song writers and hymn writers had thought along those lines. I also am reminded of the growing silence of man on the matter of God, or the re-shaping of who we want Him to be, (especially at the secular university level). More and more I see a lack of celebration of creation, in favor of world view: an offer of compromise on God as Creator in favor of alternative models.

Dan Wilt has brought out a concept of the worship artisan (Wilt, “The Rise of the Worship Artisan”. As worship leaders, how do we approach worship? In our song writing, in worship leading, do we dig back into the roots of Christianity, or sail along on the modern worship choruses? I think that the choruses we have today are somewhat of a time of rest in worship music. Some of the very young song writers who have captured the young Christian hearts with their music have touched many hearts with their passion for Christ. One song I immediately recalled when I listened to Tim Hughes in the media, is his song called, “Everything”. There is so much passion for Christ in that song, and it catapults the listener right into the heart of Tim Hughes, while at the same time, delivers the listener to the feet of Christ in adoration.

Brenton Brown explained that the theology of a song must be good and solid, because it is often the song people recall over the message they’ve heard in the sermon. While that can sound a bit frightening, it is also an awesome privilege to know that the gift God has put in me is one that He needs to be ever- present with.

July 23, 2008 Posted by | ICEWS eb 2008 | 1 Comment

Week Three: First of Two Reflections: Creating a space in time

For: The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Thelogy Course with Dan Wilt

I very much appreciate the Lord’s concern for me, and the timing of His reaching out to rescue me when I need it. He keeps those appointments with me that He set up before time began, and always has just the right piece of the puzzle to bring to the table.I have been in a reaction mode with my worship team for about six to eight months, and have felt totally off balance with how things are going. It has seemed earthly to me, when it is supposed to be heavenly. This blog entry is like a “true confessions” session, but I wonder how many other worship leaders are out there who have been here: probably, a few.

In taking this Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology course with The Institute Of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, I have discovered the path back to doing what I am called to do, and that is to lead worship. Understanding the concept of creating a space, rather than leading songs or leading people or even leading people “to the throneroom” has really helped me. Stepping aside to take another look is refreshing.

Our team has gone through a time of negative growth. Now, we have some new musicians on the team: some well-seasoned and some not so seasoned. I find that I’ve not allowed myself to change at the same pace the makeup of our team has changed. Before I knew it, the team leadership deflated like poking the yolk of a freshly cracked egg in a frying pan: yellow goo everywhere, and no stopping it unless you flip it over and fry it hard.

Being in reaction mode has set me back. I need to ask the Lord to help me develop a more proactive pattern of living. Simply put, it has been prideful of me to think that I’m the only thinker on the team. That’s where I got into trouble. On a more deeply-rooted note: I know myself pretty well, and I know what works for me. I do not process best “off the cuff”, but prefer a chance to retreat and think things through. The recent challenge has been a rub between this part of my makeup against the effervesence of new teammates. After so many years of being the only leader, (though praying for more to be sent to us), I failed to see God’s answser to my prayer. Even meditation, and simply thinking through scenarios beforehand has helped me immensely with better management and better leadership.

Something that Dan Wilt spoke of in his week three lecture really served to energize me and provide perspective. He remarked that what we do in leading worship is to create a space in time for people to encounter God, to reflect, to worship Him. (He also spoke about corporate worship in week two, which I will retro-blog on after this.) Creating space takes the focus off of us, and what we do, and puts it properly on God, and on serving Him. We serve him by opening the door for His people to find Him: by creating that space. That proactive perspective helps me not only to lead, but to lead in the right direction, and to encourage others on the team to co-lead. Amen.

July 18, 2008 Posted by | ICEWS eb 2008 | Leave a comment

“Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense” by N.T.Wright

Hello! I’m reading this book! Yesterday, I found that several Barnes and Noble stores in my 25 mile radius had the book on the shelf! Cool! So, I went to the one with the most cushy chairs to make my purhcase. Turned out to be right near my home. Ahhhh. So, I sat in the cushy chair, read the front cover, the back cover, the two inserts, and the table of contents. Next, I read the introduction; and, that’s when I found out what type of person I am. (smile). Only those who read the introduction will understand. May I say, though, if you do not generally read the introduction, give a go at the first full paragraph on page “intro xi”. I found it to echo within, for sure. 🙂

June 19, 2008 Posted by | Book Reading, ICEWS eb 2008 | 2 Comments