Showing posts from June, 2013

Sunday Singables: "In the Valley"

"In the Valley" by Bob Kauflin, released by Sovereign Grace Music on Valley of Vision (2006)

This song is based on the opening prayer from The Valley of Vision- a collection of puritan prayers. You can follow this link to read the prayer (it's at the bottom of the page).
Why I recommend this song for worship-

I love this song because it is full of the paradoxes of the Christian life. In dying we live, through slavery we are made free, through suffering we find joy... the list goes on and on. Singing these biblical paradoxes back to God reminds us of our reliance upon Him and how we need to trust His sovereign hand, especially when things don't make sense. This song is a wonderful encouragement to those that are going through "the valley", a reference to the valley of the shadow of death from Psalm 23:4. It could be a quiet meditation during a time of confession or a song of commitment. However it is used, corporately or privately, it should bring us back to t…

Riding For My Life

   I keep pushing but the wind seems to push harder.
      I can't keep my speed up.
Dark clouds ahead...the promise of more rain...
    Will I get to my half-way spot?
        Too much loose gravel to keep a steady course.

These and other thoughts swirled around my head as I rode my bike today with the threat of yet another impending storm. My ride matched my life. There is so much going on, so much that might not work out. What to do? Where to go? How to provide?

I stopped for my lunch break 7 miles into my ride and had a quick snack. The storm came just as I sat down under the overhang of a closed office building. It wasn't too bad, but steady enough to know that it would have made for an uncomfortable ride had I been caught in the rain. Yet, God had pushed me just enough to get where I needed to be. After a short break for a sandwich and an apple the rain stopped. As the sun came out for a peak I headed back to my route, taking back roads…

Holding Things Together

"[Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together." - Colossians 1:15-17

Things have been a bit crazy lately. Our family is finally finished with our 3,500 miles of June travel and we get to spend a few days at home this week, reflecting on all that has gone on during this past month. At times it felt like things were being held together by a glued together chain of links made of construction paper. And yet, here we are.

Over the weekend I was reading through Colossians again and was really struck by this section of chapter 1 written above: " him all things hold together." In the context of this passage it seems that Christ being the authority over all rulers and authorities. Those ruler…

Sunday Singables: "Psalm 23"

"Psalm 23" by Joshua Huff, released on Enriched Affections (2010)

Psalm 23 has always been one of my favorites. As I began putting this Psalm to music I wanted to write a soothing melody that brought scenes of the comfort of a shepherd to mind. I was in my major seven chord faze at the time, and it ended up fitting the words really well. The second verse came about through more study and wanting to point us to Christ as our ultimate Shepherd.

Why I recommend this song for worship-

Colossians 3:16 tells us to "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs..." One of the things I love to do when I write music it to base the text on the text of scripture, particularly the Psalms. As we worship together, or individually, it is good to let scripture guide us in that worship. The Psalms have historically been the church's music book, and it is very appropriate to sing them ba…

Wind-up Wednesday: How Star Wars should have ended

These little "How It Should Have Ended" videos were always pretty enjoyable. Like, why didn't Gandalf just fly on an eagle to Mordor and drop the ring into the volcano instead of sending Frodo to walk the whole way? Anyway, here is another take on the Star Wars ending. Enjoy!

9 years and counting...

Nine years ago I was within shouting distance of married life. I was enjoying my final day as a single man, thinking back on almost five years of dating and looking forward to who knows what. I knew who I was marrying and what I hoped to do, but the rest of what my life would become was just potential. I knew nothing of the joys or trials that would come. I didn't know that my appendix would rupture, my wife's job would fall through, or that I would be entering the ministry within just a few months. I couldn't have imagined that in a few years we would be the parents of three beautiful children.

As I look back on the past nine years of marriage I can't help but be amazed at what God has done. Throughout all the job changes, moves, births, deaths, and everything in between, God has completely taken care of us. There have been moments where I have doubted, but never a second where we weren't firmly in God's sovereign hand.

I have no idea how much time I have lef…

Sunday Singables: "Lullaby for Charis"

It's good to be back on the blogosphere after a nice relaxing (yet busy) vacation. On the occasion of Fathers Day I would like to post a song I wrote for my first daughter, Charis. It's a song we still sing to all our girls every night before bed and one they often sing to each other when they are feeling tired. While it isn't one I would necessarily recommend for corporate worship, it is one that could be used for family worship. I hope you like it.

"Lullaby for Charis" by Joshua Huff, released on Enriched Affections (2010)

Here are the chords if you'd like to play along. We usually sing this with "Little Charis" or "Charis, Selah, Trinity" (our daughters) in place of "Little baby." Of course, feel free to personalize it however you want to fit your little ones. Enjoy!

(just click & copy/paste this into a document to use)
This song is available for download from Amazon and iTunes.

Big Changes, and a Big God

We serve an amazing God, a God who can do anything. Over the years this has been confirmed in our family's life again and again. We've lived in six different homes since getting married nine years ago, and soon it will be seven. Each time God has done incredible things with our church, job and home, things that can only be explained by pointing to the God who works all things together for good, for those who love Him and are called to His purposes. I could write on and on about these examples, but I'll keep this post about the most recent. After all, I am on vacation. First, a little background.

Over a year ago my wife and I began to study the doctrine of baptism, particularly infant baptism. Long story short, we have changed our view and now hold to the infant baptist tradition, long held by several denominations, including the the one we will soon be joining, the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). As we moved in our journey through this understanding it became clear …

Trusting in the Rock

I love that we serve a faithful God. His faithfulness doesn't depend on our faithfulness, it only depends on Him. That is such a comfort, especially in times where we feel like we have little control over what is happening in our lives.

Tomorrow morning our family leaves on the first extended "Just our family" vacation we have have taken since our first daughter was born. We are so excited to have some time together.

A lot has been happening lately in our lives with camps, trips, and many other things. While I won't be able to post quite as much until we get back on June 15th, I hope to post a good long update on what God has been doing in our lives on Monday of next week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend of worship wherever that might be. I'll leave you with part of a Psalm that has been very encouraging to me lately. This is just a portion, but of course I would recommend the entire thing.

From Psalm 18 (ESV)

I love you, O Lord, my strength.2 The Lord …

Sunday Singables: "Holy"

"Holy" by Matt Redman, released on 10,000 Reasons (2011)

Why I recommend this song for worship-

This has become one of my favorite songs from the past year. It takes the very biblical theme of declaring God's holiness and expands on why we sing of this attribute. Have you ever spoken of God's holiness and wondered what that means? It means He is other, not like us, above us, a completely different kind of being. And yet, He sent Christ to become one of us and to save us. These amazing truths and more are taught with a melody that is very singable and a final focus on Christ's triumphal return. This song speaks to those hurting spiritually, those longing for hope, those needing truth, and those that just want to praise the Lord. We have come to love singing this song in our church and I hope it is an encouragement to you as well.

Changes I've Made-

The key we sing this song in is C. On the recording I believe it is in Eb which is a bit high for the average voice…