Showing posts from May, 2017

New Song: Humanity

Over the past 4-5 years God has been sensitizing my mind and heart to seek out what empathy for others looks like and how that should impact the way I live among others in my community, my country, this world.  I've been challenged in thinking about empathy in light of listening to others' stories, hearing a point of view I know nothing of, and really seeing someone as an image bearer of God.  I have not mastered this. In fact, I really feel I'm still at the tip of the ice-berg in understanding and living out what this looks like.  I suppose we all are.

This past year I've been listening to the Cultivated Podcast and recently listed to the 2-part interview with Christian author and thought-leader, Andy Crouch. In it he discusses a broad range of his experiences from playing piano in an all black gospel church as a young white seminary student, to writing and editing for major magazine Christianity Today, to developing a heart for and writing about issues of justice.

A co…

New Song: The Well

Song Inspiration
For the past year I've been teaching a study on Identity in Christ for our mom's ministry group at our local church. It's a study that evolved over time through my own personal study, and then morphed into a formal arrangement of lessons as the committee asked me last year to formulate curriculum suited for our group this year.  

There are a thousand subtle and not-so-subtle ways we find our identity in things that will not fully, or eternally satisfy.  Over the course of the year we kept revisiting this idea found in Jeremiah, of how we wrongly seek out satisfaction through other things when Christ Himself is the only One who can fill the empty spaces inside us.  

Jeremiah 2:13
"For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water."

I've been on a personal journey with this over the last couple years myself; learning to run to…

Weekend Songwriting

Sometimes songs are written from pieces and fragments pulled together from the notebook in my purse.. from last week's thoughts, or last month's sermon, or things I've been teaching others all year, while learning them for myself in cycles. 

And sometimes I have to scratch out things I thought were super brilliant, because in the end they were actually horrible. I'm in the middle of all of that right now on a song I've been putting off getting out of my head for months.  I'm trying to resist the excitement of "finishing a song", and instead am making sure each line, each phrase, each word and each part of the melody is the best that I can write right now.  

If you're a song-writer, or creative of any nature, do you tend to rush to finish your song (or project), though not your best work, or do you labor over it so much in perfection that it you never complete and release it?  I'm working on the balance :)

Retuned Hymn: John Newton - Olney Hymn #66

Some of the work I am a part of at my local church includes leading others in worship through song, and some of it also includes collecting meaningful, gospel-centered songs + readings for others to share during the offering portion of the worship service. Recently I was introduced to this site, which houses the full collection of John Newton and William Cowper's Olney Hymnal.
The Olney Hymnal is a collection of songs written by Newton and Cowper for their small, rural church in the late 1700s. The songs were written with the people of the community in mind who were mostly poor, lower class, and uneducated. They wanted the songs to be accessible to the average person in their community (I love this by the way - they considered their people and wrote with them in mind!)
I dare not put myself in the same category as their work, but am simply giving myself the challenge of re-tuning a handful of the Olney Hymns over time. I have grown to LOVE what the people of Indelible Grace are doin…