Join Me at the New Site!

We went live yesterday over at Kelli and I could not be more pleased with how it all came together. A big thanks to Alle McCloskey of Finding Eden Media for the hard work she put in to make that site everything I had envisioned it to be. It really is a beautiful space.

Join me there?





The Rhythm of Celestial Experience


“Music. A meaningless acceleration in the rhythm of celestial experience.”

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters


As a music lover, a singer and a worshiper in the church, I find myself more and more learning and understanding the art of worship, because it really is an art. Worship cannot be approached devoid of passion and yet, so often, that’s exactly what happens. I watch as worshipers, both on stage and in the congregation, stand unmoved, unimpressed, sometimes even annoyed, throughout the entire worship portion of a church service and I want to grab them by the hand and squeeze tight while whispering in their ears, “This is the God of the Universe to whom we sing. Rejoice and be glad!”

I don’t do that, of course, because that would be weird and slightly intrusive…

There are some obvious reasons to me why this happens to worshipers and they are reasons that I understand. Some of them are valid and some just need to be worked through a bit. (And to make things perfectly clear, the specific worship I am discussing here today is the actual worship portion of a church service. Not the every day worship of living out faith.)

The first reason why I think many struggle to worship passionately is a perceived lack of talent. I see it in their eyes, sometimes even in the ones standing in front of the microphone. There is a fleeting (or not so fleeting) look of fear, of doubt, maybe even embarrassment as they begin to sing. I can almost see the thought bubble float above their heads.

I’m not good enough.


photo copy 3There is some truth to the idea that a person leading worship should, indeed, be able to carry a tune and carry it well. Beautiful harmonies accelerate the rhythm of celestial experience and there’s no way to get around that. But most churches have some process of vetting singers, so if you’ve been placed before a microphone by the person in charge, chances are you have been given that responsibility with some measure of confidence so my advice to you is this: embrace it.

If you are actual leader of worship, lead boldly and passionately. Don’t look out at the congregation with wide, scared eyes like your grandma shoved you on stage and ordered you to sing. Sing because you can and smile because you enjoy it.


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When your soul is not well

Necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs Necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs

I sat in the front of his tiny boat, my hands gripped to the slippery sides with all the strength I could muster. Huddled beneathe a plastic tarp, I looked at all their faces for some sign that told me it was okay to panic. We were all being brave, laughing nervously to stave off the terror as wave after wave crashed over the sides, the full wrath of the Carribbean falling upon us.

When we set off from Spanish Wells, Bahamas, the sea had been calm. The day was bright, perfect for a short three hour cruise to Nassau. I can’t remember our exact number, but there were a lot of us to pile onto the small boat that day. We were at the tail end of a week long family reunion. This was our Bon Voyage.

The storm came up quickly, as they tend to do over the ocean. Before we knew it, we were hunkered down in a rocking boat with only a few life jackets to go around and though I am almost always game for a grand adventure, on this particular day I wanted nothing more than to get off that boat.

Terrified and sick, I couldn’t see for the wind and the rain. The salty ocean water stung my eyes. And yet every time a wave hit our boat, I felt an odd sense of peace thanks to the man who stood at the helm of the ship, steering us through the storm.

As the boat rocked, he smiled broadly. When the waves crashed hard, he let out a roar of delighted laughter. He did not delight in our fear, but rather in the joy of the ride.

He knew where we were headed and he knew what stood on the other side of the storm.


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