July 5, 2018

The Cult of Cafeteria Worship I’m terrified that catering to individual aesthetic preferences in worship is killing the church. And by aesthetic preferences, I could mean a lot of different things, but at the top of list is music. Before I explain myself further, I must admit that I’m being overly simplistic. The cultural factors contributing to church decline are complicated and diverse. But because the church has responded to decline with drastic liturgical adjustments, we must look at the… Read more

July 2, 2018

Church of St. YouTube Sixth Sunday after Pentecost July 1, 2018 Entrance Prelude Andante Religioso from Sonata No. 4 Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847) Greeting The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you. And also with you. The risen Christ is with us. Praise the Lord! Read more

June 29, 2018

Just for fun. “You’re never gonna let, You’re never gonna let me down, You’re never gonna let, You’re never gonna let me down, You’re never gonna let, You’re never gonna let me down, You’re never gonna let, You’re never gonna let me down, ‘Cause You are good, You are good, oh, oh, You are good, You are good, oh, oh…”     “All my questions find their answers here. When You come You change the atmosphere. I am focused, I… Read more

June 28, 2018

I have a feeling many of us have been there. You know what I’m talking about. There is simply nothing worse than getting into a car with people you think you know and trust, only to find yourself unable to escape the transportation nightmare of being forced to listen to contemporary Christian radio. What can you do in such a treacherous situation? Nothing! I mean, you could unbuckle, open your door, and put yourself out of your vehicular misery. Seriously,… Read more

June 26, 2018

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye of sinful man thy glory may not see. Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love; I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead, God’s eye to watch, God’s mighty to stay, God’s ear to hearken to my need, the wisdom of my God to teach, God’s hand to guide, God’s shield to ward, the word of God to give me… Read more

June 24, 2018

Church of St. YouTube Fifth Sunday after Pentecost June 24, 2018 Gathering Prelude Solemn Melody Henry Walford Davies Mark Dwyer, organ Read more

June 17, 2018

This is a new regular feature on Ponder Anew, one that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. The idea is to design a weekly service, based on various liturgical traditions, that can encourage, inspire, and allow others to discover just a bit of the beauty of Christian liturgy. It will weave together acts of worship available online with spoken prayers and lessons from Holy Scripture. This is purely a devotional resource; the weekly posts are not meant… Read more

June 14, 2018

My first music director job in a church was in a tiny Baptist church in a blue collar Houston suburb. It wasn’t exactly my dream church job, but they generally treated me well and gave me a shot when I was desperate to get out of waiting tables. Like many Baptist churches in Texas, this wasn’t exactly the kind of place to let a civic patriotic observance like the the 4th of July go by without fanfare. I had already… Read more

June 13, 2018

Churches, Pastors, Music Directors, worshipers, everybody who will be in church in a few weeks, you’ve got a perfect opportunity coming up on July 1. That will be the Sunday that you will be tempted to worship country instead of Creator. I pray you will make a different choice. Listen to how Jesus describes himself in Revelation 1: “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I was dead, and see, I am… Read more

June 11, 2018

As part of the firestorm that forced Paige Patterson into his long-overdue retirement, some Baptist women have finally begun speaking out and standing up to the good ol’ boy. In the middle of it, most notably, was Beth Moore. Her courage and boldness in sharing her own experiences of misogyny and discrimination are admirable. I’m glad she’s stepped up and called these guys out. She’s right, of course, especially about Patterson. His words and actions toward and about women and… Read more

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