Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Revelation

This past Sunday at NHC was a very impacting day for many in who were there. Our pastor/my father shared a very personal story - which I can remember bits and pieces of because I was about 5-9 years old at the time - about going through a very long and dry desert in his life. We decided to use the Third Day song, "Revelation" from their latest album of the same name, and the sermon and the song together really seemed to hit home for many people.

If you feel like you're going through a desert and aren't sure what God is trying to do in your life right now, I'd encourage you to listen to the Podcast (on NHC's Podcast Page or on iTunes). And, here is a rough recording of "Revelation" from our 9am worship gathering.

video

Nate

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cliche?

So, I've heard/read a few worship leaders recently criticize Christian artists/songwriters for being too "cliche" with their lyrics and music, especially referring to worship (Christian songs we sing to or about God) songs...in fact, I've heard a few people declare that this is one of the "real" problems with modern Christian music. I have issues with that criticism...

"Cliche" as defined by Webster means:

1: a trite phrase or expression ; also : the idea expressed by it
2
: a hackneyed theme, characterization, or situation
3
: something (as a menu item) that has become overly familiar or commonplace

Now, in my humble opinion, if a "worship" song is worth any weight, it's lyrics are going to be based on Scripture...either quoting/paraphrasing scripture, or coming out of the Christian life/experience...which is automatically going to create the risk of making the lyrics "cliche".

But, what does it say about our God and our worship if we believe that either Scripture or the Christian Life has become trite, hackneyed or overly familiar? God invites us to sing a new song, reminds us that His eternal mercies are new every morning, and declares that His Word is alive and powerful even today. Revelations describes the angles of Heaven singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" for all of eternity...how's that for cliche?

I understand that these criticisms are coming from people who are a bit tired of the same old same old with contemporary worship music...but, does that say more about the people writing the music, or more about those doing the criticizing? I freely admit that I don't like certain artists or songs for similar reasons, but, again, does that reveal more about me and my culture and my background and experiences than it does about those artists and songwriters. There is certainly a place and time to call out those who's character is seriously questioned or who's songs do not match up with the truth of God's Word, but most of the recent negative criticism I've seen have come from those who just don't enjoy what they're hearing.

For example, I do not care for the music of Jeremy Camp, for personal preference reasons that are related to this discussion. But, whenever anyone asks me about my opinion of Camp, I am also quick to acknowledge that I'm obviously in the minority (Camp is hugely popular) and that I have heard nothing but good things about his personality and character and have never heard any criticisms of his music for being anything but Biblical and true...so, I try (it's hard sometimes) to simply share my personal tastes and not criticize the guy.

Having likes and dislikes when it comes to music is a neutral thing...it's neither good nor bad in and of itself. But, when we're negatively critical about artists and their music simply based on those personal preferences without any Biblical reasons, what we're really doing is showing our immaturity by criticizing the Great Artist. And that, in my humble opinion, is one of the real problems with modern Christian music.

Nate

Monday, February 23, 2009

Worship Fallacies

Thanks for the discussion during the Worship Fallacies series...unfortunately, a few people are upset with me and think that I'm attempting to attack and/or slander people, which, of course, wasn't my intention at all. But, in order to maintain the peace, and since I think the discussion has run it's course, I've removed the 4 posts.

Thanks!

Nate

Moses Art 03

As I mentioned in This Post, I'm working with local artist, Amber Elwood to create a series of paintings that will help illustrate big events in Moses' life as we work through our current Sunday Morning Sermon Series, "The Journey: Start to Finish - Tracking the Life of Moses". Below is Amber's third piece depicting Moses' encounter with I Am (read Exodus 3-4:17).

Nate

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Moses Art 02

As I mentioned in This Post, I'm working with local artist, Amber Elwood to create a series of paintings that will help illustrate big events in Moses' life as we work through our current Sunday Morning Sermon Series, "The Journey: Start to Finish - Tracking the Life of Moses". Below is Amber's second piece depicting a pivotal moment in Moses' journey to leadership (read Exodus 2:11-22).

Nate

The CALL Stage

This past weekend, Nags Head Church hosted The CALL Student Conference, an annual youth event that focuses on the 5 Purposes (fellowship, worship, discipleship, ministry and mission) of the New Testament Church. This year's purpose was "Mission".

Our theme verse:
Lift up your eyes and see that the fields are white for harvest.
John 4:35

Rich Coleman created this year's graphic based on the theme verse:

And Amber Elwood created the stage artwork (if you want to know how, ask me):



Nate