Just got back from a 17-day trip to St. Stephen’s Society in Hong Kong. Here is what I saw and absorbed and want to live:
1. A Culture of extreme generosity. Everyone is generous to everyone else. They demonstrate the maxim: Give and it will be given to you.
2. Close community. Sharing life, friendship, laughter, breaking bread together day-by-day.
3. Helping the poor...lifting up the downtrodden…freeing the oppressed…welcoming the outcast. A few hundred people living with them in different…
Our fingers were numb before the set started. The temperature was 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit). Last night, our band set up the PA and our instruments outdoors at Nightshift (nightshiftministries.org). We played for an hour while people ate. This is a nightly dinner served for people in need. The volunteers mingled with the crowd, and prayed for some.
We’ve been playing at Nightshift a couple times per month since last summer. In the winter, it’s kind of crazy but it’s always fun. We bundle up…Read more
In March 2015 I was in Hong Kong to do a 12-day songwriting workshop with a dozen worship leaders there. One morning while I was there, I read Psalm 40 in my daily Bible reading. God spoke to me powerfully through that Psalm, which begins, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” I had been waiting a long time for a breakthrough. Finally, God was bringing it to me.
"He brought me up out of the mud and dirt...he gave me a new song to sing (Psalm 40:2,3)."
For me, "the mud…
A friend of mine gave me this word some years ago: “Your family is your treasure.” It referred to my immediate family. I’ve often thought about it, and God has used it to keep my on the right path. Sometimes I get too busy with the work that I love, and forget my family that I love even more.
Last week I was in Cannon Beach for the annual gathering of worship leaders from the western U.S. (This year we were joined by several friends from other nations, as well). As always, it was a great time in God’s…Read more
Around a month ago, I led worship at a small Vineyard church in Vancouver, about a 30-minute drive from my home in Surrey. Before leaving for church, and while driving, I asked God to help me joyfully serve him and his people for one more Sunday morning.
Pulling up to the humble community center, it was raining and cold. While looking for a parking place I thought, "here we go again…time to put on my boots and start work.” No polished backing band, no sound technicians, and no stage monitors…just a…Read more
On January 31, around 7:00 pm, my daughter-in-law felt the beginning of labor pains. My wife, who is a licensed midwife here in British Columbia, quietly sprang into action, making preparations for the birth. For the past several months, the plan was for Shannon to give birth in our bedroom, for more space.
It was very exciting as Shannon’s birth pangs increased in intensity and many family members gathered to wait and offer support. My 2-year old granddaughter, Azélia, sat with my two daughters, along…Read more
Wouldn’t it be great if the daily life of a worship leader included several hours per day of playing music? I wish it were true! Life is full of so many tasks and chores, from the musical side—organizing set lists and charts, to the family side—doing the dishes, driving kids to school and sports events, to maintaining a home and a car, etc. There are lots of barriers to carving out time to play, but it’s worth finding that little window of time even if we don’t feel like doing it.
I’ve been playing…Read more
Should worship leaders sing parts that aren’t the written words and melody?
That’s a good question. I remember when I was very critical of worship leaders who sang words, phrases and melodies that weren’t part of the written melody. Or, they sang their own artistic version of the written words and melody. It distracted me from worshiping. It seemed like the worship leader was “showing off.” I thought the leader’s job was to make worship easier, not harder. So, is there a place for…Read more
I can remember sitting in my room of the fraternity at UCLA as a college freshman. I was a new Christian. I was reading the Bible and it was like someone was sitting there talking to me. Up until then, my ‘story’ consisted of loving sports, playing guitar and being a good student so I could eventually get a good job. Then I became part of God’s story. The adventure was just beginning and it was exciting.
I grew up playing the guitar as recreation. Then it became truly re-creational. The creative…Read more
Click to see & hear Breath of Heaven