Angels from the Realms of Glory

I invite you to enjoy this analysis of the theology and poetry of the traditional Christmas carol written by my friend and grad school classmate James Cheesman: “Angels from the realms of glory” has become my favorite Christmas hymn. It was written by James Montgomery in 1825. Montgomery is considered the first hymnologist in the […]

Art and the Bible

“God is interested in beauty. God made people to be beautiful. And beauty has a place in the worship of God.”

On Christian Worship: Old Testament Vocabulary

Let’s do some word study! Yeah, I know, that sounds as fun as diagramming sentences (something I always enjoyed, BTW) but we really can’t discuss worship without understanding the word itself. Words have meanings. Although we humans have an inclination to make up definitions as we go along, it really is important for effective communication […]

On Christian Worship: TOGETHERNESS

[note: this post first appeared on March 17, 2020. Circumstances have begun to change gradually of late but “normality” is still far away. Thus, the point of this brief writing, edited from the original for clarity, is still applicable.] This post content wasn’t at all what I was thinking about when I started this series […]

What are Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs?

In both Colossians 3 and Ephesians 5, Paul uses the phrase “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs” when commanding the church to use music in its discipleship. Are these terms three different kinds of music? Synonyms meaning pretty much the same thing? Generic terms embracing all kinds of music? Well, analyzing Paul’s use of Greek is […]

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges

Well, I’ll leave you to look up the Blazing Saddles reference yourself if it’s unfamiliar but, while you’re here, I do have some questions for you to consider: Where do music ministers, often called worship leaders, come from? How do they become caretakers of your church’s music? What training should they have? What skills are […]

What Child We Sing?

This is a piece written last summer with the intention of debuting it in our “A Sacred Christmas” program at our church. We had to cut it from the program at the last minute and, subsequent to the disappointment of losing the performance, it has been languishing on the dusty shelves of my hard drive […]

NotePerformer & Finale

I finally jumped off the bridge and installed NotePerformer 3.2 this week as my virtual instrument library on my 25.4 version of Finale. Here is my initial, and highly premature, reaction to this shiny new toy. First off, what is NotePerformer? It is a software library, produced by Wallander Instruments,  of most orchestral and band […]

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory

In 1861, the sight of Northern troops assembling in Washington, D.C., inspired Julia Ward Howe to pen the words to The Battle Hymn of the Republic, which begins, “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” Although originally intended to stimulate patriotic fervor, the text’s potent depiction of biblical themes – […]

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