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My Wife Loves Me Conditionally

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No, I don’t love my husband unconditionally. In fact, I am insulted by the idea of it.

Somehow, the idea of “unconditional love” has been accepted by our culture as the most pure and true form of love possible. To love someone for personal gain is considered vulgar and opposite to love.

A Vision for Worship Ministry

Each New Year I take a pause. I get out my journal, and I write. It’s a way to remember, to survey the total, and to find a renewed focus.

As part of this practice, I wrote out some thoughts about the church music ministry I lead. I asked, “Basically, what is it that I’m doing—and why?”

I came up with this vision for worship ministry in 2016:

Singing on the Battlefield: A Story of Worship in the Bible

In biblical worship what is God’s role? What is ours?

We see the answer, of all places, in the middle of an ancient Jewish battle. Here is the story of how God worked through his people’s praises and received the glory.

“Self” on Trial: A Look at Christian Motivation

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As Christian leaders speak out for missions, some have set up “self” as a bogeyman. I regularly hear pastors rail against “self.” Apparently, the lowest insult is that a person be “selfish.”

I don’t accept this understanding of Christian motivation. In fact, “right and wrong” are categories for guiding us in pursuing life; and for any individual man, this means: his own life. Therefore, “self-interest” (a.k.a. selfishness) is the very foundation of morality.

O Bless Me Now, My Savior

Does God want us to be motivated by his rewards?

For a very long time people have been singing of their great reward. And not only Americans.
The Hebrew book of worship, the Psalms, is prefaced by the following:

Blessed is the man
 who walks not
In the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stands in the way of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
 planted by streams of water
That yields its fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
-Ps 1:1-3

Here are 50 of my favorite lines of blessing in the hymns.