Tag Archives: Essentials Blue

Essentials Blue Vineyard 09 Creative Project

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

Below are the lyrics to a song I wrote about creation.  I was struck powerfully by the realization, during this course, that  far too few songs address God’s wondrous beauty and creativity.  What I have here is an attempt to craft something that the gathered community can sing together in a worshipful response to the fact that we have an inheritance in that creativity and beauty.

We are creators and the created.  We both enjoy his creations and jump into the divine dance of creativity.  God as creator has long been one of Christianity’s most well worn descriptors for our Lord.  Mankind’s longing for and recognition of beauty is universally recognized – in both spiritual and secular circles.  So songs that declare that God is the owner and originator of beauty and creativity are bound to stir interest in believers and non-believers in getting to know him.

I do not have a chord charts available or a recording as I am merely a drummer and barely able to put words to a page (cue the laughter).  However, I intend to work with my co-laborers in worship and music to put something together with this for our community.  Since I am already starting the next course, I thought I should get this up even without a recording.

Creator God

Verse:

You are light, you are life

You are beauty glorified

All creation testifies

To the splendor of your eyes

Chorus:

Come all you creatures and sing to our Maker

Jump in the river that flows with his laughter

Dance in the pleasure of the Son and our Father

Shout he is good (and) his love lasts forever

Bridge:

You are the water walker

A tree top stalker

All you made is under your feet

You are the lighting wielder

Broken heart healer

Alleluia to the King of Kings

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A quote about the Bible from N.T. Wright

“…to be a Christian while not letting the Bible do all the things it’s capable of, through you and in you, is like trying to play the piano with your fingers tied together.” [1]

We must ask ourselves, “What else should I be allowing the Bible to do through me?”

[1] N.T. Wright, Simply Christian (Harper One, New York) 174.

The effect of soaking in theology for worship leaders (essentials blue 09 – week 4)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

Long have I appreciated the Worship leaders and pastors who not only get up in front of folks and emote, but have the ability to construct foundation theological experiences that lead people into accurate understandings of the saving work of Christ, the activity of the Holy Spirit, and the love of the Father.

For this reason, I am loving the mental and theological crunches that Dan and the Institute is asking us, (a group gifted in emotional expression) to go through.   In his Week 4 Video summation Dan described his hope that our soaking in these truths about God and the outworking of his kingdom would flow over into our writing, our songs, our literature our preaching, our relationships, and our approach to Christianity.  I can already see it happening in me and the others in my church that are walking with me through this course.

In my sermons, I have a renewed focus on inviting the heavenly and earthly spheres to interlock and creating “thin” places where our citizenship in the heavenly kingdom can be more fully tasted.  In my prayers, I feel more authority and confidence as I freely embrace the members of the Trinity as a collective and as separate entities.  I have been given language to more creatively and vividly express the activity of the kingdom and the purpose of God throughout the ages.

Indeed, becuase of this course, I already feel a renewed hope that I am playing an important role in God’s kingdom.  I am a reconciliar, a SalvificStoryTeller, an ImageBearer, and a SubCreator.  I am not divine, but I there is something of a pilot light of divinity that lights my furnace and keeps me hot for God and the kingdom.  Oh God that you would turn up the thermostat in my personal life, in my pastoring, and in my worship leading!

A Christian Worldview (Essentials Blue 09)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

God is the original personality and the ever-extant community. God is infinite creativity expressed in Trinitarian divinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are a whirling dervish of expressed adoration, mutual satisfaction and creative action. Their fingers have fondled the stars and forged the deep valleys of the seas. Their divine dance has spoken into existence all that exists; the breath of his words gives it all life and holds it all together.

God’s very essence is love. For this reason he spoke into existence all that is known, all that is mystery and all that is man. As the crown of his creation, he created humans to join in, and expand the worship circle pulsating out from the divine community. The chief purpose of man is as a conduit for reflecting the glory of God throughout the earth and for presenting before God a display of how his divinity is expressed and acknowledged in all the created order.

It was his boundless love that led him, in spite of his foreknowledge of their pending rejection, to place vestiges of his very image in man. The result was that his most cherished creation could choose to remain forever in his circle of love or allow the seeds of self-infatuation to sprout a life of separation. It was the pleasure of God to love and receive love from image-bearers who were aware they could do otherwise. In one succulent swallow, men choose the latter and destined all of human history to a fruitless search for self-actualization.

God, however, did not abandon his creation connection. Faced with the reality of man’s chosen isolation, he began working within a new paradigm of God-man interaction based on the echoes (1) of his presence that no human can fully suppress. Moving back and forth between heaven and earth God made himself known to the heart of man through the beauty of creation, the longing for relationship, the desire for spirituality, and the hunger for justice. His interaction in history crescendoed in his revelation to Abraham and his decedents and climaxed in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus.

His wandering flock found a way back into the circle of the eternal heavenly community by embracing Jesus’ death and resurrection as their own.

In Jesus, God jumpstarted the kingdom he had established to share with humans so long ago. Those who re-establish relationship with God through Jesus begin to share in the resources of the concurrent heavenly realm. The effect of this ever-increasing intersection of the now (the decaying kingdom of man) and the not-yet (the everlasting kingdom of God) is a world indelibly and progressively marked by beauty, relationships, spirituality and justice.

At the end of this age, God will put an end to the painful products of man’s posture of independence. With Jesus established as King, every knee will bow and all of creation will rejoice. He will complete his “re-creation” of the world and place his reborn man, as his creation caretakers and image bearers (2) for all time.

(1) N.T. Wright, Simply Christian
(San Francisco: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2006), 1-40.

(2) Dan Wilt, Essentials in Worship Theology: The Nature of Humans
(New Brunswick, Canada: St. Stephen’s University, 2008)

What is human? (essentials blue 09)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

We are a spark, a mere flash of carbon and cognizance in the blazing fire of God’s story

Yet, deep within us, at our very core is a trace of the flames of Trinity

Alone, our presence brings a faint glow of hope to darkened caverns

Firebrands of heaven unite your light and watch the enemies scatter!

The communion of saints enter the divine dance

The communion of saints enter the divine dance

Leitmotif (essentials blue fall 09)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

The word that is sticking out the most to me as I work through Wright’s (1) material this week, is leitmotif. Merriam-Webster (2) defines the term as such:

1 : an associated melodic phrase or figure that accompanies the reappearance of an idea, person, or situation especially in a Wagnerian music drama 2 : a dominant recurring theme

It is this idea that God has incorporated, in not only the story of his people Israel throughout history, but also in each and every one of us – a repetition of exhile and homecoming, of jumping off the ship and getting pulled back into the lifeboat, and of his people contaminating his creation and him putting it back together.

As Christians, we cling fiercely to this leitmotif of hope.  God will come again and rescue us out of despair.  It is the backdrop of the great psalmists and poets, and the inspiration behind much of the worship that captures our hearts.  Yes!  God will come again and make right the wrong.  He will tend to his garden again.  He will (and can) cause the withering stalk of our lives to produce flowers.  From the ugliness of our relationships and our decisions, he will create beauty.

I must start including this term in my vocabulary, and certainly in my thoughts.  I am on the lookout for leitmotif, for the reocurrance of the great restorative themes of God.

(1) Wright, N. T. Simply Christian: Why Christian Makes Sense. San Francisco: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2006

(2) “Leitmotif.” Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary. 12th ed. 2008.

My thoughts on worship conversations (Essentials Blue)

“For: The Institute of Contemporary And Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen’s University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt.

Along with 150 other worshipers, musicians, and creative kids from around the world, I have started the intensity that is the essentials blue course. The first week is about to end and as I look back on it, I realize that I have read quite a bit and thought quite a lot about theology, creativity, the nature of God, and how our thoughts on those things critically affects how we choose songs, select worship media and otherwise “craft” a worship experience for others to enter into.

And you know what? I am enjoying myself. I love the interaction with all these artist-thinkers. I love the contemplation. I love the mental crunches.

I mean, of course it’s important to sing songs about God that represent the truth about him.  But why don’t I normally take that into consideration?

I considered our set list this week and realized that almost all the songs were exclusively about our love relationship with God. We must write more songs ourselves! There is such a dearth of songs about Justice and Creation.

Tomorrow I am going on a 24 hour retreat to a bed and breakfast. I will miss my family, but I will need it.