Notes from the leadership journey!

Category Archives: Discipleship

Sing Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs!

One of the things I’ve discovered over the years that stirs my passion for God is listening to praise and worship music!

In Ephesians 5.18-19, the Apostle Paul wrote …

Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts … (CEB)

On a similar note, Paul wrote in Colossians 3.16 …

The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (CEB)

The Psalms often urge followers to sing praises to God and to sing new songs, including …

  • “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise for our God.” (Psalm 40.3)
  • “Sing to the Lord a new song! Sing to the Lord, all the earth!” (Psalm 96.1)
  • “Sing to the Lord a new song because he has done wonderful things!” (Psalm 98.1)

In the past, I’ve written about music, including: Songs for Leaders, “Songs for My Sons”, You Write the Words, Ordination Playlist, and Songs for the Valley.

Ever since Ethan was 2 years old (he just turned 6), I’ve had a playlist on my iPod with our favorite worship music. I’ve always tried to include songs the kids will like. Some of the kids’ latest favorites are “God’s Not Dead” (Newsboys) and “10,000 Reasons” (Matt Redman). The oldest songs on the list are “Trading My Sorrows” (Darrell Evans), “You Never Let Go” (Matt Redman), and “My Savior Lives” (New Life Worship) (one of my favorite memories occurred three years ago at a hotel playroom with another family in the room; Ethan was belting out the words of “My Savior Lives”: “Jesus you are the only way, my Savior, my Savior lives!”).

The newest songs on the list come from the latest (live) recording by Darlene Zschech, “Revealing Jesus.” So far, our favorite is “Victor’s Crown.” (I’ve always loved the worship music by Darlene Zschech and Hillsong.)

Looking back on my own journey with God, there seems to be a connection between the level of my passion for God and the practice of listening to praise and worship music. Knowing this, you’d think I’d be more consistent, but I go through stages where I neglect the practice. Sometimes I need reminded about the importance of listening to praise and worship music!

What songs stir your passion for God? Post a comment below with your favorite songs!

“The Power of Introverts”

TED is a great place for ideas and inspiration. And, as a communicator, I like to watch them to inspire me to be a better communicator. In fact, I’ve recently started watching TED Talks while walking on the treadmill (at least once a week) as part of my strategy to grow as a communicator. TEDContinue →

5 Children’s Books for Family Devotions

Our most important responsibility as parents is discipling our children! While we can always do better, it is something we’ve been intentional about from the beginning. Some of our previous posts include: Praying the Scriptures for Your Children, Praying for Your Children, Family Devotion, Teaching Kids to Pray, and “Praying Circles Around Your Children” (theseContinue →

“Praying Circles Around Your Children”

Praying for your children is a non-negotiable. And, I just read a great resource for parents who want to pray for their kids: Praying Circles Around Your Children by Mark Batterson. Last year, I read The Circle Maker, also by Mark Batterson. I wrote several posts about it. The last one, with links to allContinue →

Teaching Kids to Pray

One of the most important things parents do is teach their children valuable skills they’ll use throughout their lives. “Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it.” (Proverbs 22.6, CEB). There’s no greater skill than praying! As parents, we want our kids to have a vitalContinue →

Teach Me Your Way, Lord!

Life isn’t easy. We need a guide, a compass, a way to live. Last summer, I was reading through the Psalms, and a verse from Psalm 86 jumped out at me. Teach me your way, Lord, so that I can walk in your truth. Make my heart focused only on honoring your name. (Psalm 86.11,Continue →

New Spiritual Practices for a New Year

We are starting two new spiritual practices in 2013. First, we’re adding a practice to our evening family devotion routine. We’ve always read Scripture or a Bible story and prayed together as a family just before putting the kids to bed. Recently, we became more intentional about memorizing Scripture. This year, we’re adding a littleContinue →

5 Benefits of Journaling

I was a 19 year-old college student when I sensed God calling me into full-time ministry. Shortly afterward, I transferred to a different college and changed my major, and my life focus, from engineering to ministry. While I was finishing up my last two years of college, working on a Bachelor’s degree in ministry, IContinue →

Discipleship Wanes When Christianity is Popular

I’m reading Longing for Spring: A New Vision for Wesleyan Community by Elaine A. Heath and Scott T. Kisker. I was challenged by the authors’ description of discipleship when Christianity is popular. In its earliest days, Christianity was at times “illegal and semi-covert” until the conversion of Constantine in A.D. 312. Constantine made Christianity legalContinue →

Psalm 119

I’ve read the Psalms more than any other book in the Bible (at least, more consistently). I love the Psalms. And I’ve been enjoying reading the Psalms in the newest translation, the Common English Bible. This morning, I read Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible at 176 verses. The psalm was written inContinue →