“How Great Thou Art” — so simple and so good! Mary Sarah

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Mary Sarah
Mary Sarah

Here is my latest version of “How Great Thou Art” by a young lady named Mary Sarah, a nineteen year old rising star from Texas.  Have no idea where she will be five years from now, but this version is so simple and so good I had to pass it along to you!

“Though You Slay Me” — Shane and Shane

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shane2Sometimes in our lives, we have to make a call.  Will we make a judgment that God has done us wrong, or will we choose to trust Him to be all wise even when we don’t understand what is going on or why.  In Job 13:15, we read,  “Though he slay me, I will hope in him;  yet I will argue my ways to his face.”  Which will it be?  Yes, we are free to ask why, but what we need never wonder is whether it is worth it when life gets hard, afflictions come.  As this song by Shane and Shane calls out a response from the hurting heart, a segment from a teaching by John Piper is edited in over the music.  His premise is certain–all of our light and momentary afflictions are totally meaningful in light of all that God is doing through it…”For momentary, light affliction is producing in us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Hear the song, listen to the Piper voice-over and marvel that our God never wastes a moment of our lives.

“Though You Slay Me”

“What Wondrous Love Is This?” Chelsea Moon and the Franz Brothers

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chelsea moonHard to beat simplicity…a classic hymn, two guitars, an upright piano, a great female vocal and a hall-way for acoustics!  Enjoy Chelsea Moon and the Franz Brothers!

“Latch” by Uncle Jed (a love song for Valentine’s Day)

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uncle jedLast year I happened upon “Uncle Jed” an Australian group.  I was looking at a video on Youtube and saw that they were auditioning for the show “Australia’s Got Talent” and was immediately captivated by their sound.  Featuring a couple of brothers (Denny and Shannon) and young woman (Laura) who is their cousin, this group was so very good that I have been trying to find some excuse to put something by them on my blog.  So here it is!  It’s a love song called “Latch” that is very sketchy in its original video format but here has been wonderfully rearranged by Uncle Jed.  Hope you enjoy their version, the best version!

If you want to see their audition and then their second appearance on “Australia’s Got Talent,” click the following links:

Audition One, “Brother”

Appearance Two, “Give Me Love”

Also, their website is in case you want to find out more or just do what I did…search for more on Youtube!

Help for Pastors: Balancing Family and Ministry

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DSC_5073 - Version 2On Tuesday evening, January 27, I had the opportunity to join Dr. John Ewart and Dr. Jamie Dew in an informal conversation with students at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary to address the issues involved in finding and keeping a balance between a pastor’s family and his ministry.  Thought you might like to see it, pass it on to your pastor or just get a glimpse into some of the challenges facing pastors.

Every field has its own set of challenges in keeping balance between family and vocation.  Hopefully you will find this helpful as you face balance issues at home and work.  The session was almost an hour long, just in case you need to watch it in segments!

Balancing Family and Ministry

[Click on the link above for the video.]

My Soul Magnifies the Lord – Chris Tomlin

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When we look at the song of Mary, often called “The Magnificat,” the call comes to our hearts to join her in the joyful celebration.  One great song to do that is “My Soul Magnifies the Lord” by Chris Tomlin.

Listen and you will soon be singing alone!  Then Sunday when we study Luke 1:46-55, I hope your heart will find your own soul magnifying the Lord and your spirit rejoicing in God your Savior!

“Mary Did You Know?” — Pentatonix

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PentatonixI love the a capella group, Pentatonix.  We first saw them on the television competition show, “The Sing-Off” a few years ago where they showed their versatility and precise harmonies every week.

As Thanksgiving approaches, the malls have already put up Christmas decorations, so why not go ahead and post my first Christmas video of the year?  Pentatonix has amazed us once again with their version of “Mary Did You Know?” by Buddy Greene and Mark Lowry (story behind the song, click here).  Although it has been recorded well over 400 times, this is one of my favorites.  Enjoy!

“I Want You to Live Forever” – Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

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623392_featuretteIn an earlier post, I introduced some of you to Ellie Holcomb and posted “The Broken Beautiful” video.  Now it is time to meet Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.  This live performance of “Live Forever” slips in a little bit of “People Get Ready” toward the end.  There is an official video of this song but I love the live performance here.  Enjoy!

ALS Awareness — Taking the IceBucket Challenge

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Ice bucketAfter several weeks of watch video of others, I finally got to participate!  I challenged our own pastors at Providence to join me after our congregational worship and prayer time last night.  While the kids and their parents enjoyed a little ice cream out in the courtyard, we got our buckets ready and joined the millions who have already gotten drenched for a great cause–research for ALS treatment.  Sure there are many other causes, but this one is here…it is now…it has impacted our church…and we could do something!  So why not?

Cathy and I wanted to join in personally so not only did I get the ice bucket treat, but we will make a donation to  But beyond that, we want to extend the effort and also make a donation to Alzheimer’s research, the horrible disease that took her Mom’s life a couple of years ago.

So, enjoy the silly video, and look beyond it.  Someone had a simple idea and it struck a nerve and generated millions of dollars for a worthy cause!  What a delight to be able to give and enjoy it so much!!  Thanks to the folks at Providence who cheered us on!

Better Days? Only when Jesus is on the throne!

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In a broken world, there is such a longing for hope.  In spite of the absence of any evidence, people continue to declare that they want to have confidence that life will get better.

However, apart from surrendering to the Creator and Giver of life, there is no such hope!  The last sermon in the series from the Prophets offers the only hope there is–that the Messiah has come to forgive the sin which separates us from God; and that the Messiah will come again to assume His rightful place on the eternal throne where He will put everything right and restore His perfect kingdom.

As an example of the kind of hope people want to claim, here is a video of an old song covered in a more recent arrangement.  Back in 1970, the Five Stairsteps recorded a song, “Ooh Child,” and promised that some day a better world was coming.  Over the years, many other artists sang and recorded the same song written by Stan Vincent.  Here is a fuzzy video of Destiny’s Child and Cyndi Lauper doing the song in concert just a couple of years ago.

The sad thing is that people still think that a better day will come apart from Christ!  Until He comes, it will only get worse in a fallen world that continues to fall apart, among a fallen people who persist in making things worse!  Yet because Jesus has come, there is abundant life possible now and eternal life promised when He comes again–just as the prophets foretold!

So, yes, the message of the song is true, just not the way the writer and artists who recorded think.  Only through Jesus Christ are things going to get brighter, better and beyond imagination!