You Are My God (I'm jumping off)

(recorded by the Odessa Christian Faith Center music ministry)

Here's a recent song I wrote about trusting God when you step into new territories.   Even when things may be unfamiliar, foreign to us, it's going to be OK when we just learn to trust Him.  He'll keep us safe and He'll guide us, navigate us where we need to go.

Hope you like it.

You Are My God (I'm Jumping off) (©2012 Lowell Hohstadt) 

I’m jumpin’ off into the deep

That’s where my life is truly free

I’m livin’ life eternally

That’s where my heart is meant to be

 

I trust You, You only

I love You, You hold me safe

in all I am and all I do

 

Living my life to love You

Living my life to worship at Your feet

 

You are my God

You are my God

You are my God

You are my God

 

Here I will trust You

Here I am near You

Living my life with You

I’m holding onto You  

Leaning ev’ry part I am to You

 

 

We Win

(recorded by the Odessa Christian Faith Center music ministry)

“And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.  When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.” (Col. 2:13-15) 

“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor power, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:37-39) 

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith.” (I John 5:4) 

It is evident that Christ has won the victory for us, both now and to eternity, in which we can confidently say, “We Win!”

 

We Win (©2011 Lowell Hohstadt)

In the darkness You shine Your light through

In the battle Your ev'ry word comes true

In the chaos You shine Your glorious light

With You on our side, we win the fight!

 

All the victory here

comes from victory there

All the promises here

You brought us the victory hanging on Calvary!

 

Takin' a walk of faith ev'ry day now,

Talkin' talk of grace, as I look in Your face

Set my eyes on things above this world

With You on our side, we win

 

We win, we win,

We win, we win,

We win,

We win the fight!

 

Emotionalism In Worship- Part 2

In the previous blog, I wrote about the dangers of emotional worship which is unfounded upon a solid understanding of God’s Word.  This kind of worship is empowered only by human sentiments and therefore can only produce natural results, tending towards failure.

There is, however, an emotionalism in worship that is profound and rich with meaning, one that emanates from a deep well-spring of revelation that “God loves me and has forgiven me.”

When Jesus went to visit Simon the Pharisee, there was a prostitute who brought an alabaster vial of perfume to pour on Jesus’ feet, kissing and wiping them with her tears.  Simon was critical in his heart of Jesus, thinking that He didn’t know what kind of woman she was.  But Jesus responded to him through a story of two people that were in debt, one who owed a little money and the other a lot.  In the story, they both had their debt cancelled.  Then Jesus asked Simon which of the two people would appreciate the man who had cancelled their debt more, the one who owed little or the one who owed much.

Simon responded, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”  Jesus said, “You have judged correctly.”  Then he enumerated to Simon all of the ways the woman had blessed Him since the time He had walked through the doors versus Simon’s negligence to show hospitality and care, finishing up by this comment, “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Lk. 7:47-48)

David wrote, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered!  How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” (Ps. 32:1)

“Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin’?” (Prov. 20:9)

The greatest message (and perhaps the most foundational) of Christianity is that of Forgiveness.  When we realize God’s love and forgiveness for our very own life, it produces a well-spring of joy and happiness, an emotion not coming from our own humanity, but one that is empowered by God Himself.

The Apostle Paul echoes again in the New Testament, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven, and whose sins have been covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.” (Rom. 4:7-8)

The word ‘blessed’ means: happiness, bliss.  The word ‘bliss’ means lightness of heart, supreme happiness or delight.

There is a depth of emotion that can be released through a believer’s life, which flows like a mighty river from the inside of his being, when he is connected to the spiritual realities of God’s forgiveness and grace.

This emotion is authentic, founded upon reality.  It’s a kind of emotion that brings fullness and benefit to our lives.  It doesn’t have to be ‘ginned up’, it’s not a show or ‘put on’, but rather it is something that no circumstance, situation, individual or community can take away.  “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33)  “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” (Jn. 15:11)  “but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you.” (Jn. 16:22)

God validated His forgiveness in our lives through Jesus’ resurrection.  "As those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered up because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification." (Rom. 4:24-25)  Because of God’s power to raise Him from the dead, we now have the assurance that our lives have been cleansed, purified and made whole.

So when we see emotional worship, we must be careful not to be critical, as Simon the Pharisee was, because in our ‘objectivity’, we might be missing out on an opportunity to love God deeply, based upon His love for us.

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (I Jn. 4:10)

Worship that stems from an attitude that “I love God” is a worship that is emanating from Natural Man, tending towards self-centeredness and even ‘worshiping worship’.  However, worship which comes from an attitude of: “I love God because He first loved me” is a deep river of blessing, which will produce true happiness and contentment.

Whoever drinks from the water of human emotionalism shall indeed thirst again,

“but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (Jn. 4:14)

My prayer for the worshiping community is that we always know from which source we are drinking.



Emotionalism In Worship

I am not a stranger to passion in music and worship, but I have come to be careful in my understanding of how it is balanced against self-control.  In the 20+ years I have been involved in the Charismatic/Pentecostal worship movement, I have observed a disturbing trend in those who I considered ‘leaders’ of the movement, those who have focused on ‘praise and worship’ and passionate musical expression.  Invariably, they either are, or have become unstable individuals, both morally, as well as emotionally.  In asking myself the question why, I have come to several conclusions.

Predominantly, I believe their failures are due to an imbalance in their zeal to excel in the areas of music and worship, becoming either unaware or uncaring of the fact that they were exalting emotion over reason, worship over Bible teaching, Spirit over the Word.  I have known a number of people through the years, who once were highly passionate and persuasive, but now have a trail of divorces and general emotional instability.  Sadly, though they are still as talented as ever, these people will probably never fully recover the influence and leadership they once had.

I remember my African-American friend John one day teaching me the importance of putting the study of the Bible preeminently above all other Christian activities.  He related to me the story of how he had grown up in a Pentecostal church in an urban American city, in which they had passionate worship on Sunday, and yet, on Monday were in fornicative and adulterous relationships.    

He frequently warned me of the dangers of super-emotionalism and its negative spiritual effects, as he had seen it first-hand growing up in church.

John was a musician’s musician, who could flow with the best of them, but he chose, in his musical and worship leadership to balance passion with discipline, emotion with control.  In music and worship, just as in life, imbalance ultimately leads to breakdown. 

Music and worship are emotional subjects, and they deal with the emotional side of our culture and community. 

As a general statement about humanity: men are predominantly more ‘reason and decision’ oriented, while women are more ‘emotion’ oriented.  (I know this is not always the case, and I’m not trying to be chauvinistic, just looking at a pattern.)

In the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement, we have seen many women in leadership, noticeably more than other religious movements.  Music and worship have played a large role in the Charismatic movement, as well.  My point here is that I see a correlation between emotionalism, music, worship and the general historical unfolding of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement. 

If a comparison can be drawn between the ‘woman’ side of culture (which is emotional), versus the ‘man’ side of culture (which is reason and decision based), I think we could agree that the Charismatic movement has historically been leaning towards the ‘woman’ or emotional.

Paul instructed Timothy, “But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man…it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.” (I Tim. 2:12-14) 

In the metaphor that I’m drawing, the ‘woman’ or emotion side of humanity should not have authority over the ‘man’ side of reason and decision-making.  (I am not arguing against women in ministry leadership, or negating the fact that God uses women powerfully in ministry.)  I am simply showing a pattern of priorities: emotion is second to the renewed mind and will; worship is second to the study of the Word; the Spirit glorifies the Word. (Jn. 16:14)  Anything other than this is imbalance, ultimately producing chaos.

If we’re doing everything right in the worship music of the Charismatic/Pentecostal tradition, why is there so much failure, even in its leaders?  We have exalted talent above character, emotion above reason. 

The Scripture clearly encourages reason in our approach to Christian activity: “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Even Paul’s exhortation, regarding the use of music in worship, was for it to be instructional: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col. 3:16)  Once the Word was richly established in their lives, then, out of that came teaching through the use of music and worship.  The word was first, then worship.  Reason first, then emotion.  I have no doubt that the church at Corinth had emotionally charged worship, but they were out of control!  Paul had to deal with them “as babes” and not spiritual men. (I Cor. 3:1)

When we were in the midst of the ‘Praise and Worship Movement’ twenty-some years ago, and we had a group of highly passionate, emotionally charged people in the worship team at my church, I was affronted by their little discipline and much dysfunction.  Over the years, I have endeavored to cultivate a group of people who understand the ‘reason and choice’ in music/worship along with the inherent ‘emotional’ side. 

No doubt, we can always grow in our expressiveness and passionate portrayal of worship and music, inspiring others to become involved, but I am aware that this must always be in relationship with emotional soundness. 

I believe in passionate worship and musical production; however, only in the priority of integrity and discipline.  It is only in this proper structure that there is wholeness and strength, both for the individual, as well as for the corporate worshipers.  Anything else has a big WARNING sign on it!

 

(for more on this subject, see "Emotionalism In Worship (part 2)" and "Trinity Concepts 1.06 Christian Activity")

 



The Three Uses of Music and Arts

Music is useful in our society in many ways, but I believe that there are three main functions of music and the arts in our lives: 1) Performance, 2) Worship, and 3) Prophetic.

The most common use of music and the arts in our lives is that of performance, in which the artist gives his art to another person or group of people.  This is certainly beneficial in many ways, especially when the artist and his audience have commonality in their likes, interests and goals.  Much of this kind of artistic endeavor centers around Man: what man can accomplish in skill, what styles man likes to hear or see, how popular the artist becomes, etc.   In essence, it's all about man’s performance and social acceptance.

A higher level of music and artistic involvement is that of worship.  Music and the arts do a wonderful job of ‘pointing’ the audience to a target.  The ‘pointing’ can draw an arrow to the Artist himself, or to a cause (like ‘saving the planet’), or to a consumer product (like Coca-Cola).  Whatever music and the arts point to will be ‘exalted’.  Another way of saying it is: whatever the ‘arrow’ is pointing to is lifted up and amplified, even worshiped.

There are many examples throughout history of how music has been used to ‘exalt’ that which it points towards.  Take for example the biblical story in the Book of Daniel. 

“Nebuchadnezzer the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.  (Dan. 3:1)  Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language, that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.  But whoever does not fall down and worship shall immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire.”  Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.” (Dan. 3:4-7)

Throughout the ages, all cultures and religions have used music in some form or fashion to convey their worship.  The Bible is replete with the subject of musical expressions of worship in Judaism and Christianity.  As the God of the Bible is a creative God, Who made man in His image, it stands to reason that He put within man the ability to create in like manner.  Part of the response from those who worship God is, of necessity, a creative one.

Music and art that are brought to God in worship exist for a higher purpose than the pleasure of man.  This kind of activity seeks to ‘point the arrow’ towards the Creator of all things, amplifying Who He is, inspired and empowered by His worth.

There is actually a third, and even loftier functioning of music and the arts in which few people are ever involved, and that is the expression of the prophetic. 

This is where the purpose of the creativity is not for man’s pleasure, and not even to exalt God, but rather, it is when God Himself speaks through what is created.  This phenomenon is not initiated by man himself.  To do so would be ‘false-prophesy’.  That doesn’t mean that man is a ‘puppet’, however.  Man cooperates, in this instance, with God-breathed inspiration in the creative process.  Man, by supernatural inspiration, brings form to what is being spiritually conveyed by God Himself.

The message that results may or may not bring pleasure to those who hear it.  It may even run diametrically opposed to the culture’s desires.  But one thing is sure: it will always cut deeper into the audience’s conscience than anything produced for performance or worship.  It is a message that demands a response of action by those who hear it.  It can elicit dramatic cultural change and has the power to move history substantially down a new and different pathway.

Elements of prophetic music and art can be intertwined with performance and worship, but when those moments happen, it is in stark contrast to elements that are not prophetically motivated.  The artist is definitively aware of when ‘God steps into the picture’.  All who have tasted of this creative inspiration are forever marked.  Nothing less will ever suffice.

 

 



Put Your Hand In My Hand

Here's a song I wrote a few years ago that my good friend Trevin Woods gave a beautiful piano rendition of.  We were just finishing up our weekly praise and worship team rehearsal, and I pulled out this song, turned on the recording computer and sang around the piano with friends.  It was a special moment for all of us!

"Put Your Hand In My Hand" is not a worship song, but rather a song in which God is talking to us.  I might call it a 'prophetic song'.  The song's message is God Himself encouraging us to put all our trust in Him.  (Prov. 3:5-6)

Hope you enjoy!

Purchase MP3 or Lead Sheet

Did You Know That There's a Symphony in the Bible?

It’s not the New York Philharmonic, but it is filled with beauty and wonder.

It’s the unity of Christian believers in worship.

The Greek word sumphoneo, where we get our modern English word Symphony is used to describe being in agreement, in unison, in one accord, to speak together, to concur with one another.

Jesus said, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.  For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.” (Matt.18:19-20)

Evidently, agreement creates power: the power of answered prayer, the power of the Presence of God.

The Greek word sumphonia, which is directly related to sumphoneo, means “to sound together, accordant, harmonious, Symphony, concert of instruments, music.”  Its synonyms are humnos (a hymn, a religious metrical composition), psallo (to make melody by the twitching and twanging of strings, to sing), and ode (a chant).

There are two Scriptures which use these exact words in sequence, written by the Apostle Paul, as he was encouraging the Church to participate in these activities when they came together.

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” (Eph. 5:18-21) 

And here’s the second one:

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Col. 5:16)

Coming together with music is not only a spiritual command, but an opportunity to participate in something profound.  When we do this, we apparently tap into an extra dimension, something not at all ordinary, something unusual and powerful.

According to the Scriptures, we are encouraged to do this through the activity of singing and making music through composed and spontaneous songs and the use musical instruments.

“Yet You are holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon (literally, inhabit) the praises of Israel.” (Ps. 22:3)

God inhabits the praises of His people.

When you put Matthew 18:20 together with Psalm 22:3 you begin to see a pattern.  When God’s people come together in united praise, He says, “There I am in their midst.”  He “inhabits and is enthroned upon” their praises.

As this happens, there is not just earthly human power available.  According to Scripture, there is super-natural (or above natural) power which is present to heal, set free, deliver, fix what is broken, release what is bound, and set straight what is crooked.  Everything you know in your imagination that God can do, in this atmosphere He is present to do it.

It all happens when His people come together in united worship.  He is right there, ready to touch anyone who has faith to draw upon the power of His presence.

The woman with the issue of blood, who touched Jesus’ garment and was instantly healed, was surrounded by a multitude of people who experienced no miracle at all for themselves.  She was the only one who reached out in faith to touch Jesus.  He was physically being touched by people all around Him, but only one touched Him by faith. (Lk. 8:43-48)

When we are in the presence of God through united worship, we need to draw upon His available power to touch our lives, to do the things that natural man can never accomplish, inviting the power of a loving God to give us breakthrough.

It can and will happen in the Symphony of God, His manifested presence through corporate worship, the united gathering of those who draw near to Him by faith.

“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” (Js. 4:8)

It’s a Symphony more powerful than anything this world can create, one that uses song, voices and instruments, but it’s a Symphony that goes much deeper than music, one that taps into the spiritual realm and touches the regenerative power that only God Himself can give.

Will you come to the concert?  The tickets are free.



Who Was the First Musician?

(We don’t know, for certain, that this was the very first musician to have ever lived, but he is the first person mentioned in the Bible who was highly influential in music.)

“And Adah gave birth to Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock.  And his brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe.” (Gen. 4:20)

Jubal was the father of all the musicians in that day and age.

Jubal’s name is very interesting.  It means: “a stream, or watercourse, to carry.”  It fascinates me that the name of the father of the musicians had a name like this.   A name in the ancient Biblical world had meaning and carried a sense of the destiny of its recipient.

When I think of a river, I think of several things: 1) Nourishment, 2) Refreshment, 3) Flowing, and 4) Cleansing.

Those who either listen to or participate in music, to any degree, would attest to the fact that good music brings nourishment to our souls.  It refreshes us.  

As a musician, I am particularly interested in the flowing nature of the melodic lines and the general direction or flow of the composition.  As a worshiper, I am endeavoring to always be aware of where the flow of the service is going, what direction it’s taking.  The ability to ‘flow’ in music and worship may ultimately be the most important thing for the musician to learn.

The current of the river carries you.  You don’t manufacture it.  You can’t change its flow; it would futile to try.  You simply relax and allow yourself to be carried from one destination to another by the river’s pervasive power.

Sometimes the river is ‘wild’, impassioned and driving, while at other times it is peaceful, tranquil, and serene.  One who is traveling its path cannot dictate when or where these things might happen, he must simply ‘go with the flow’.

In creativity, whether spontaneous improvisation or meditative pre-planned composition and arranging, there is a flow that is already there, just waiting to be ‘tapped into’.  It is when we step into this River that we have the most rewarding times of bringing forth the new.  That which will be created flows out of that which already is.

Fourthly, a river brings cleansing.  We should be listening to and participating in the refreshing waters of music and worship, rather than the murky waters of stagnate pools.  If a music or worship experience leaves you feeling empty or dry, it’s probably because the River was not in it.  However, when you participate in the flow of the River, you always come out knowing it.  You feel refreshed, nourished and clean.

We should always endeavor to tap into the source of this flow, the flow that is already happening…a flow which cannot be controlled or manipulated.  (Oh, we can navigate, but we cannot ultimately control its onward momentum.)  We must simply ‘connect’ to it and participate, not fighting against the current, but relaxing in it, as we are carried to our next destination.

Perhaps Jubal is not only the father of ancient Biblical musicians, but also of all those who enjoy participating in the same River from which he himself flowed.

10 Lessons I've Learned from J.S. Bach (part 9)

The ninth lesson I learned  from J.S. Bach is to actively serve the local church.

Bach's dream and vision from God for his life's work was to produce music of the highest quality in the worship of God.  He was employed by the local church, but his heart led him to be there.  Many other opportunities were available to him for his career path, but he chose the community of the local church.

Many contemporary musicians think that serving in the local church is beneath them.  They think the constraints that are put upon them by the leadership are too hard to bear, and that they need greater freedom of creativity in order to flourish as an artist.

Bach, in his situation, may have felt that way at times, but he was willing to stick it out.  As a result, the pressures of relational tensions/resolutions, the 'buffetting' that he endured, actually caused him to excel in his creativity more than if he had been left to himself with endless freedoms.

The simple fact is that community is good for us.  "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." (Prov. 27:17)  In a church scenario, there will be moments of 'grinding' that happen, but if we're willing to endure it, we will end up much 'sharper' (i.e. more powerful) for having been willing to go through the process.

Contemporary musicians are afraid that submitting their art to the authorities in the local church will somehow be too constricting, and that it boils down to the "Word" versus "Worship", with the music and worship always getting pushed to a lesser place.

Bach, however, found that 'boundaries' are good.  Without boundaries in our lives, we cannot ultimately succeed.  The American concept of 'freedom' for every aspect of our lives has led to our country's moral decadence and decay.  If we don't exercise self-control, which is a fruit of the Spirit, by the way (Gal. 5:23), we will end up being controlled.  "The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor." (Prov. 12:24)  Submitting our artistic lives to the 'constraints' of the local church is probably one of the best things we could do for our continued artistic growth.  Bach proved this to be true.  As he willingly worked through the 'parameters' of needs, desires and demands of the situation that he worked in, he ultimately created one of the greatest outpourings of music the world has ever seen.

You think he would have succeeded anywhere, just because of his talent and ability?  Take a look at people groups all over the world, throughout the course of human history that have endured affliction of one kind or another.  They always come out of it a powerful nation.  The oppression created higher discipline.  The high 'structure' brought out the untapped power of the people.  Just look at those who come to America from foreign lands, places that don't have our opportunities.  Once they are given the opportunities, their work ethic causes them to rise to great heights, while the average American-born citizen is selfish and lazy by comparison.  A little 'buffetting' would do us all some good!

Freedom is never free.  Somewhere along the line, someone (including yourself) must pay its price.  Jesus paid the price for our salvation and paved the way for our success in every area of life.  But He also said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.  For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?  For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.  (Lk. 9:23-26)

Bach willingly followed this path of unselfish sacrifice, allowing himself to be 'sharpened' in his skills, as well as his personal growth.  This also may be one of the reasons that, compared to later classical composers, he had a balanced and successful life, not falling prey to the moral failures we witness in the succeeding generations of classical musicians.  His ability to stay balanced in life caused him to create more music with increasingly higher quality over a successful and productive career.

His dream to serve the local church, the way the Bible outlines, produced success for him.  It also set him up as the teacher and role model for great art and musical creation for generations to come.

Application: When you do things God's way, it always works.  Honoring Him through a humble attitude, being willing to submit your life and your gifting to godly community and godly authority, according to the promise of Scripture, will bring results beyond what you think you can achieve doing it some other way.  There are no short-cuts to success, and there are no shabby rewards, when it comes to God's blessings!

(for more on this subject, see my article from "Current and Future Worship Trends": "My Vision- The Motivation")

Current and Future Worship Trends- The Motivation

What does it mean to be a responsible artist and musician for the Church in today’s world?  There are so many different voices, strategies, paradigms, whims, and desires.  Which direction is the right one, if there is a right one?

The Church is facing either its finest hour, or its darkest, depending on how we respond in our hearts to the call of God for this generation.  The decisions we make right now could either marginalize us for years to come, or thrust us into the next ‘Great Awakening’.  There is so much at stake, and it has all to do with Why we’re doing what we’re doing.  Our heart attitude is what is central to this.  What is our core motivation, not just the surface clichés we like to throw around, but what really are our core values, or what should they be?

Come see my article, "My Vision- The Motivation", as I outline the power and necessity of worship, music and the arts in community.