Category Archives: worship
I am overjoyed to announce that my CD “Already But Not Yet” is now available! Overjoyed by the hope that God will use these songs to encourage many people and churches. Overjoyed to contribute to the hymn-renewal movement that the Spirit is using to revive the Church. Overjoyed to exalt the true Redeemer!
“Already But Not Yet” tells a story–God’s story of Redemption through King Jesus. And each song moves the story forward from Christ’s Cross, Resurrection, and Exaltation to our life of Exile and Prayer, and finally to the celebration in the New Creation. Already redemption has been accomplished. But not yet completed. We await the Return of the King!
1. He is Risen (Resurrection)
2. Look! Ye Saints (Exaltation)
3. Christ is Coming (Exile)
4. Come, Lord Jesus, to Redeem Us (Prayer)
5. Upon this Mount–Isaiah 25:6-9 (New Creation)
6. There is a Fountain (Our Theme)
CDs are now available to purchase at BullMoose Music (Windham and Portland) and will soon be available for download at ITunes.
For mail orders please mail a check to Joshua Otte |973 River Rd |Windham, ME 04062. $7ea or 2 for $10. Just add $3 shipping (up to 4 CDs). Add $0.50 for additional CDs. If you have any questions email me (eucatastrophe101 at yahoo dot com) until the website is launched! Thanks!
UPDATE. Please check out my Facebook Music Page. Listen to the tracks, leave a note, tell your friends!
I’m super pumped to announce that I’ll be in the studio this week recording a 6 song EP. The songs include…
- “There is a Fountain” (William Cowper)
- “He is Risen!” (Eric Schumacher)
- “Come Lord Jesus to Redeem Us” (Gary Parrett)
- “Upon this Mount (Isaiah 25:6-9) (Gary Parrett)
- “Look Ye Saints the Sight is Glorious”(Thomas Kelly)
- “Christ is Coming! Let Creation” (John R. MacDuff)
Each of these songs build the theme of Redemption from Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension to our waiting for his return and our celebration of his return. This is an exciting project not only for me but also for our music team, our church and Jesus’ Church everywhere because the end result will be more Truth-saturated music in the ears, hearts and minds of many!
One of my favorite sources of music for not only gathered worship but also driving down the road is Indelible Grace. And the cool news is that they just released a new, acoustic CD, “By Thy Mercy”! The men and women of Indelible Grace take old, forgotten and oft times neglected hymns and write new arrangements and melodies. You can be sure all their songs are truth-saturated, God-centered, and Christ-exalting.
You can check it out here at AmazonMP3.
You can preview the 10 tracks, too:
- By Thy Mercy [feat. Matthew Smith]
- Jesus Lord We Look To Thee [feat. Jason Feller]
- A Prayer For The Broken Hearted [feat. Chelsey Scott]
- Rock Of Ages When The Day Seems Long [feat. Mp Jones]
- Greater Than Our Hearts [feat. Matthew Smith]
- Salvation To The Lamb [feat. Emily Deloach]
- Hallelujah Praise Jehovah [feat. Jeremy Casella]
- Great God From Thee [feat. Andrew Osenga]
- My God My Father Blissful Name [feat. Justin Smith]
- Lo The Storms Of Life Are Breaking [feat. Sandra McCracken]
HT Vit Z
Lasting change takes place when people are not only shocked by the evil in their world, but by the degree to which they have lived as glory thieves, demanding for themselves what belongs only to the Lord.
–Paul Tripp, Instruments in theRedeemer’s Hands, p. 226.
From June 22-July1 I have the uber privilege of being part of the Spurgeon Sabbatical. Here’s what I shared with my uber-supportive church as I get ready to live in Exile (aka Massachusetts) for wee bit.
One of the things of love most about WBC is the passion and commitment to be generous towards the Kingdom of God, all around the world, locally and globally. Not just when it’s convenient but whenever God calls and enables us to.
Well, I want to thank you ahead of time for being generous to God’s people, specifically a group of pastors that I will be serving at the Spurgeon Sabbatical, June 22-July 1. Your generosity in sending me to serve these pastors who come from all over the States and even around the world has been recieved with thankfulness by them in the past and I know will once again this year. They realize that it is a loving sacrifice for your pastor to serve you “from a distance,” catching up with emails and phone calls in the afternoon and coming back just for the weekend.
This will be my 3rd time leading the gathered worship aspects of the Sabbatical–each day will begin and end with a time worshipping God together in song, Scripture reading and prayer. These times are meant to bookend our rigorous study and lively fellowship. This year’s topic is “Romans 1-5 Judgment and Justification: Keeping the Main Thing in Ministry, the Main Thing.” Our two texts will be Simon Gathercole’s Where is Boasting: Early Jewish Soteriology and Paul’s Response in Romans 1-5 and Mark Noll’s edited Where Shall My Wond’ring Soul Begin? The Landscape of Evangelical Piety and Thought.
My time at the Spurgeon Sabbatical is more like a short-term mission trip than a vacation or simply attending or even leading a conference. It will be exhausting. I will be away from my family. The days will be long. There will be intense soul-surgery. So…I humbly ask you to pray:
- Pray that God would encourage Heidi in my absence.
- Pray that I would serve with the strength that God supplies.
- Pray that God would free me from the tempation of self-importance.
- Pray that the 15 pastors would be personally renewed in their faith by our study of the gospel in Romans.
- Pray that these men would return with their eyes fixed firmly on the Lord Jesus Christ as their only hope and goal for their families and ministries.
Chapter 6 bridges the gap between idolatry in the Old and New Testaments. But the odd thing about the gospels is that they don’t talk about idolatry! At least not overtly. This lack of “idol talk” might lead one to believe that idolatry was no longer a problem. Perhaps the Babylonian Exile cured Israel of her idolatry?!
Beale doesn’t buy that argument. Israel was not cured of her idolatry. She simply exchanged her old idols for some new ones.
“Though words for idol or false god appear in the Gospels, this does not mean that there is no concept of idolatry there. Rather, though Israel’s reliance on idols in Jesus’ day did not take the form of bowing down to images, nevertheless, they did put their trust in something else besides God, bringing judgment on themselves, as it had come on earlier generations of Israel. Consequently, they were still idol worshipers in essence, though the outward form of it was expressed differently.” (p. 162)
Even though you never hear Jesus rebuking the Pharisees for bowing before a golden calf or for offering their children to Molech, he does in fact rebuke them for their re-formed idolatry. And as should be expected Beale connects the dots, showing how Jesus appeals to the foundational OT idolatry text of Isaiah 6 in nearly all of his rebukes against the religious leaders.
“There is reason to believe that Israel in Jesus’ time was, indeed, guilty of idol worship….Israel of Jesus’ day was idolatrous because it had worshiped tradition in place of God and his living Word, and this is why Jesus applies the idol text of Isaiah 6:9-10 in Matthew 13 to the Jews of his generation. New forms of idolatry were developing in Jesus’ time. Though Israel said, “We will never commit idolatry like our forefathers or like the nations,” they committed a differen and perhaps new form of idol worship….Israel’s predominant problem was replacing trust in Jesus with worship of human-made tradition.” (p. 166)
In the OT Israel was described as “far from God” when they were worshiping idols and not God (Isaiah 29:13; Jeremiah 2:5). Jesus says the same of the Israel of his day when he calls to task for their overvaluing of tradition and their undervaluing of God’s Word (Mark 7:6-13).
“Therefore, the words which Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 29 concern the sin of idol worship in their originial Isaianic context. Mark 7:8 affirms that to neglect the “commandment of God” and hold to “the tradition of men” is to revere tradition over God’s Word and thus to commit idolatry.” (p. 168)
What was the result of their idolatry? Blindness. Spiritual blindness. Matthew 15:14 records Jesus’ pronouncement of God’s judgment on tradition-worshiping Pharisees: “Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” The blindness of the Pharisees was a continuation of Jesus’ application of Isaiah’s prophecy in 6:9-10 and 29:13–idolaters will be blinded, incapable of seeing God’s truth as trustworthy because they are trusting in their idol instead.
Reflect True Glory
“Israel of Jesus day was becoming spiritually dead as the human-made, stale, empty tradition to which they had committed themselves” (p. 176). This is why Jesus urged the crowds and taught the disciples to build their lives on his word, on God’s Word instead of man-made, idolatrous tradition (Matthew 7:24-27). To do this is to reflect true glory, God’s glory.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works [and how they reflect your Father’s light], and glorify your Father who is in heaven [whose image you reflect].” (Matthew 5:16)
Isn’t it ironic that we’ll use “awesome” to describe everything from Jesus to a Popsicle? Harold Best is fed up with it–“awesome” is simply pooped-out, here.
I just launched a new blog called Gathered Worship. I’ll be posting most of my thoughts about “worship”, planning and leading gathered worship, and living lives of scattered worship over there. I hope that it will be a resource especially for pastors, “gathered worship” leaders, music leaders, but also for everyone and anyone who has a role in leading and participating in gathered worship. That pretty much covers everyone! I also hope the blog will be a hub of humble, helpful, and holy conversation.
And…I’ll still continue to post my more random thoughts on theology, culture, Tolkien, ministry and life here at Eucatastrophe1o1.
Thanks for reading!