Archive for May, 2012


Take a moment to read Psalm 100 (Don’t worry it’s short).

I am currently reading a wonderful book by Rory Noland called Worship on Earth as it is in Heaven. I highly recommend it to everyone in the church despite their background. In the fifth chapter Rory talks about the importance of God’s attributes in our worship both corporate and private. All created things both in heaven and on earth are purposed or meant to truly glorify the Creator, to worship him. I’ve often thought that the rocks cry out in worship whether we are silent or not. I mean can you imagine any greater statement than the stone that was rolled away from the tomb? No matter how you read the resurrection account that stone says it all, and more effectively than any other thing in the story: “He’s not here!” But what is that hunk of stone really saying? It’s telling us who Jesus is: He’s alive, victorious, unconquerable, Death’s Master, Son of God and Lord of all.

You see, worshiping God might be our ultimate purpose in life, but even though it may be meant for us, it is about God. Who he is is greater than what he’s done for us because his identity is why he chooses to bless us. However, we know him primarily through what he’s done in our lives and in the lives of others. True worship is and, for the Church, should be less about what God has done for me and more about who God reveals himself to be. But we must recognize his character as shown in our lives and acknowledge him by giving thanks for what he has done.

This can be a very helpful tool for us as worshipers. Giving thanks for what God has done brings our attention to the character of God and helps us focus on the right thing during our time of worship. That time can be both your personal bible study and prayer time or any gatherings you may attend, but the dangers of being distracted by other things, including yourself, is still there in both situations. Worship is not about lazily sitting back and mindlessly singing words at the prompting of a worship leader, and indeed we are at risk of this every time we meet. Amos prophesies about the sins of Israel, atrocities that they have committed against both the letter and the spirit of the Law given to them while still professing to love, honor and worship the Lord. In chapter 5 he writes the word of the Lord to Israel:

“I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever flowing stream.”  Amos 5:21-24

We are lying to ourselves and worse, lying to God, when we sing empty songs about his glory and character. When we pay lip service to the truth but our heart and mind is somewhere else entirely God would rather us be worshiping Satan because such duplicity is idolatry in its most common form.

Truly worshiping God is the only way to enter his presence. Anything less makes an idol of something even when the words themselves are meant to glorify God. True worship is about where your heart is because your heart determines your thoughts and focus. A thankful heart is a heart of worship. Too often we take for granted the important things in life, distracted by the petty activities that consume our day to day lives. So I truly believe that practicing the discipline of giving thanks every moment is the most valuable key to living a lifestyle of worship that we are called to in Romans 12. I will be looking for what I can thank God for everywhere and use that as a spring board privately and corporately as I worship.

Read Psalm 100 again. What have you to be thankful for?

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Recently I attended a conference where I ran into my friends from Christian Copyright Solutions and had a great time catching up with them. They have just now released a new service for indie artists and songwriters to help manage your copyrighted songs called INDIEadmin. The best part about this service is that it’s free to you with the option of extra paid services included in packages.

As a first step CCS will help you get your songs registered with the US Copyright Office, you pay the fee and they handle the paperwork. Then, according to a signed agreement, you give them the right to manage and issue non-commercial licenses for your songs to third parties interested in using your work. The third party will pay CCS for the royalties of the song plus an administration fee, and CCS in-turn sends you 100% of the royalties every month along with physical copies of your licenses. CCS additionally will help you register with Performance Rights Organizations (PRO’s) such as ASCAP and SESAC as well as registering with CCLI. There are also premium services available through the Advanced and Premiere packages, giving you more control over the use and issue of licenses, a 24/7 online cloud access to your licenses, a custom landing page and email address, and additional services including commercial licensing. However, the basic services alone save some of the administration headaches that stint our creative flow in songwriting.

Here is an example of a landing page.

Please go check this service out and tell your friends! I think it’s a useful tool for churches, organizations, indie publishers and artists to help them manage their copyrighted songs.