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Showing posts from March, 2013

Easter Sunday Singables: Top 10 Easter Songs

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Rather than feature just one song this Easter, I'll be featuring my top ten favorite songs about the resurrection of Christ (at least my top ten at the moment... this list seems to change every year). The list this year includes one song from me, three classic hymns of the faith, two newer ones from Sovereign Grace Music, and four from the Gettys. So, starting with number ten, here they are:

10. Hail the Day (from Sovereign Grace Music)
--> Click here to watch on YouTube
--> Click here to download a .pdf of the chords

9. O Church Arise (by Keith and Kristyn Getty)
--> Click here to watch on YouTube
--> Click here to download a .pdf of the chords

8. Jesus Paid It All
--> Click here to watch on YouTube
--> Click here to download a .pdf of the chords

7. Crown Him With Many Crowns
--> Click here to watch on YouTube
--> Click here to download a .pdf of the chords


6. Come, People of the Risen King (by Keith and Kristyn Getty)
--> Click here to watch on YouTube
--> Click …

Good Friday Quotes

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Good Friday is here; a day to remember the cross and the act of atonement ordained by God and achieved by Christ. Perhaps you will be celebrating this event with a service at your church. Perhaps you have family traditions to help you think deeply about this momentous event. At our service this evening we will be having a rotation of quotes and verses from scripture and various hymns to set the mood before the service begins. I hope you find them encouraging as we remember the death of our Lord.














Marriage means Marriage

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Two potentially culture-altering cases are before the Supreme Court this week. Both relate to the controversial issue of homosexuality and the attempt to redefine marriage. There are a ton of articles out there giving a good Biblical defense for what scripture teaches about this issue, and others that seek to explain why this issue is even an issue today (like this one). There are arguments about tolerance, equality, love, progress, and many more that seek to persuade people to one side of the argument or the other.

As a Christian, I believe our final authority is the Bible. That is where I stand on this issue. Whether you go to Romans 1, Genesis 2, or Ephesians 5, the Bible teaches that marriage is man and woman coming together under God and anything else is unnatural.

At the heart of this is what marriage is. I like to look at the word itself. We use "marriage" to describe all sorts of things. There is a basic understanding that marriage is the coming together of two uneq…

Wind-Up Wednesday: Christian Cliches

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I think I can relate to just about all of these. Props to BlimeyCow for landing Derek Webb for a guest appearance.

Easter Sunday Singables: "Atonement Satisfied"

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During these Sundays of Lent leading up to Easter I'll be featuring a different song focused on the death and resurrection of Christ.

"Atonement Satisfied" by Joshua Huff, written in 2011 (not professionally recorded yet)


I wrote this song for our Easter service in 2011. The recording above took place in early 2013 and features our worship team from a morning service.

Why I recommend this song for worship-

So much of the emphasis around Good Friday and Easter is on the physical side of the death and resurrection of Christ. Certainly we shouldn't ignore the physical torment Christ went through and conquered. However, scripture spends a ton of time on the spiritual side of what happened on the cross. This song seeks to expound on the conquering of the sin which began in Adam and continues through our response as redeemed people. As I put together the lyrics for this song my goal was to get us to think deeply about the spiritual transaction that took place on the cross an…

Light Dispelling Darkness

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5:30 am... the alarm goes off and it's time to head to my breakfast meeting. I'm tired. The sun isn't even awake yet. The darkness reflects my heart; discouraged, weary, needing light.

Breakfast tastes good. The conversation is pleasant and it's good to catch up with a friend I haven't talked to in a while. But the darkness still lingers. The sun still isn't up, and I leave feeling heavy with questions I don't have answers to... the big questions... Why? How? When?

As I begin to drive home I pray to my amazing God. I ask for forgiveness and peace. I ask for help, encouragement, and hope. I have my own ideas of where hope should come from, and I trust that God will answer my prayer somehow. But still I doubt, not knowing what He will do or how I can get rid of this dark feeling within my soul.

Then the sun begins to rise...

It came up quickly, right on the horizon, right at eye level so I couldn't avoid it. The visor in the car couldn't block it out…

Wind-Up Wednesday: Fun Harlem Shake Vids

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I finally got on board and made a "Harlem Shake" video. In case you haven't seen these yet, just about everyone is making them. Here are a few of my favorites to warm you up before you see my cute little ones with their cousins going crazy.

Puppies... a good way to start
The Miami Heat for all you sports fans
A little Duck Dynasty (notice Jase on the left)
My daughters and their cousins having some fun

Easter Sunday Singables: "Above All" (new lyrics)

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During these Sundays of Lent leading up to Easter I'll be featuring a different song focused on the death and resurrection of Christ.

"Above All" by Michael W. Smith, released on Worship (2001), new lyrics by Joshua Huff


The new lyrics I added as a second verse to this song are also found in a modified version on the song I wrote called Justified, available on my album Enriched Affections.

Why I recommend this song for worship-

The reason we celebrate Easter is because of what happened on Good Friday. Without the cross and its incredible spiritual significance, Easter is just another Sunday. This song places a great emphasis on the cross and Christ's exalted place above all things. It mirrors the "emptying" passage in Philippians 2 which speaks of Christ place next to the throne of God and points us there from the cross. The melody supports these truths wonderfully and it is very singable. However, I think the song on its own doesn't go far enough into th…

I'm right, they're wrong. Let's pray.

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Preaching is a sacred charge and a huge responsibility. James 3 instructs us that not many should become teachers because of the weight of accountability that comes with such a position. Thankfully, the church is filled with wonderful preachers and teachers. I love listening to a good sermon, whether live or from the past, and seeing new insights into God's Word through whatever person is preaching.

However, every once in a while, a sermon comes along that really rubs me the wrong way. The pastor seems more interested in making a point than preaching a text, and often he gets into a judgmental mode where he follows the outline I used for this post: I'm right, they're wrong (everyone who disagrees with me). Let's pray.

Very recently I heard just such a sermon from a very well known evangelical preacher who 98% of you would know. This man has preached and written a ton of good stuff. But, he also can preach with a lack of love for those who may disagree with him. In thi…

Wind-Up Wednesday: Best Seder in the USA

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As some of you may know, I am Jewish in my ethnical roots. While I am a full-fledged follower of Jesus Christ, I still celebrate many of the Jewish feasts with my family, including the Seder meal, also called Passover. With this holiday approaching in about 10 days, I thought this fun little video was very appropriate.

(parody of "Party in the USA")

Secular to Sacred: Easter and Christmas

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Another sacred holiday is quickly approaching. Easter is just a few weeks away, and with it brings the tension between celebrating the true meaning of the holiday and getting caught up in its commercialization. Much like Christmas, Easter has become less about the resurrection of Christ and more about Easter egg hunts, Cadbury Cream Eggs, jelly beans, and spending time with family and friends. It wasn't always this way. The Christian celebration used to be the main thing on Easter Sunday. So, how has this changed? We could lump Christmas in with this too. How have the two biggest celebrations on the church calendar become secular holidays? To answer that we can look to our history; to the very start of these holiday celebrations.

The beginnings of Christmas give us the clearest answer. In the early church, it was celebrated on January 6, the same date that Epiphany is still celebrated. However, as the first and second centuries progressed, there was competition between this Chris…

Easter Sunday Singables: "Hosanna"

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During these Sundays of Lent leading up to Easter I'll be featuring a different song focused on the resurrection of Christ. This week the featured song is one that would be great for Palm Sunday, the Sunday right before Easter.

"Hosanna" by Hillsong United, released on All of the Above (2010)

(use this clip for an idea of the melody... I've changed a lot of the words in the sheet below)
Why I recommend this song for worship-
As Easter comes each year, worship pastors scramble to find some great songs to sing on Palm Sunday. Sadly, there aren't too many written for this event. Most of our classic songs focus on Easter. Personally, I am thankful for the few songs that are written with the word “Hosanna” in them. One that we've modified to fit our service is this song, “Hosanna.” While the song itself doesn't speak of Christ riding on a donkey, it does echo that classic phrase from the crowds that day. It is a fairly singable song and a ton of bands out there h…

Blended Revelational Worship

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This week I've been away at the Shepherd's Conference in southern California. While it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows (I mean that literally... it has averaged in the 50s and we even saw snow this morning!) the worship time in the main sessions has been spectacular. Honestly, I didn't know what to expect when I arrived. I used to attend this church twenty years ago, and back then it was very traditional. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

Each session we were led by a different group of worshippers. Sometimes it was the choir and orchestra. Another time it was the Master's Chorale singing some amazing numbers. Today we had a jazz combo band leading us, and yesterday it was a more typical contemporary group with bass, drums, and piano. All in all I thought it was a great picture of the many ways we can worship the Lord and just a small sample of the diversity we see pictured in the worship in the book of Revelation.

In Ephesians 5:19, Paul exhorts t…

Wind-Up Wednesday: Duck Dynasty for Vegans

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I don't know about you, but I'm a huge fan of Duck Dynasty and I just about laughed out loud (which is a bid deal for me) when I saw this homeade commercial from the Dynasty guys. It's towards the end of this clip and worth the wait. Enjoy!


Home Away From Home

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Where do you call home? Is home where the heart is? Is it sweet to you? I'll have to admit, after moving almost a dozen times in my life, it is hard to really call anywhere home. When people ask me, "Where are you from?" what should I answer? Do I say Los Angeles where I was born? Do I say the suburbs of Chicago where I lived most of my life? Do I say central Illinois where I live now?

Right now I'm back in my old stomping grounds of Los Angeles, California. I've really enjoyed visiting with family and some dear friends who I haven't seen in years. I do have to admit that CA does feel a bit like home. It is familiar and familiarity brings a certain sense of comfort with it. The beaches and warm weather might help with that as well, but this isn't really my home. Sure, I lived there for a while, but this isn't where I'm rooted.

I would also say that home isn't where my family is. Granted, I love my family. I miss them a ton and wish they were …

Easter Sunday Singables: "The Power of the Cross"

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During these Sundays of Lent leading up to Easter I'll be featuring a different song focused on the resurrection of Christ. We will be doing some of these at our own services leading up to and on the day of Easter.

"The Power of the Cross" by Keith and Kristyn Getty, released on In Christ Alone (2006)


Why I recommend this song for worship-

At first glance, this may seem more like a Good Friday song than an Easter one. That's what I love about it. Much like In Christ Alone, this song takes the worshiper through the cross, into the resurrection, then onto our response as believers waiting for Christ's return and our reward in heaven. The melody and the message fit very nicely together and it steadily builds until we sing of Christ's resurrection and our place as His children. The joy of Easter comes from the conquering power of the cross and it's consummation when Christ rose. Without the cross, Easter is just another worship service. This song reminds us of …