I have been captivated by cinema graphs for a few years now. As best as I can surmise, a cinemagraph is a clip of video that has been turned into a looping animated GIF. But there’s more to it than that. The motion is limited to a particular area of the frame. The really good ones are rather beautiful and haunting.

One of the places I discovered them is at If We Don’t, Remember Me. Another site is (appropriately) Cinemagraphs.

I finally decided to try my hand at it. What better a start than a clip from my favorite movie of all time, Wings of Desire?


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Worship Wars—faulty (and hurtful) logic

I am not an apologist. I have wasted countless hours in the past fretting about internet arguments over matters of faith and doctrine. However, when I read this blog post I felt a need to respond in some way.

In the post, the author (rightly so) talks about the evils of pornography, even quoting one of my favorite authors, C. S. Lewis—I love his thoughts on human appetite and sin. He then goes on to equate “CCM ‘praise music'” with being a “‘God apparatus’ [referencing Lewis’s notion of a “woman apparatus”] that encourages lust for a catchy beat over intimate knowledge of God’s Word.”

Throughout his post, he continues to use language like “largely true … much … most…” in regards to what he regards as the self-serving CCM “praise music.” If he doesn’t feel comfortable lumping in all “praise music,” then his argument is as if he is saying most porn is bad, much of it is merely about aesthetics. It’s just poor logic and a poor analogy.

This argument does nothing except deepen the chasm between steadfast traditionalists and those who see the benefit of good modern worship. It creates an “us-them” mentality.

I am not, nor have I ever been, a fan of “Trading My Sorrows” (one of the examples he uses). He uses the “yes Lord, yes Lord, yes yes Lord” chorus to drive home his point. But he completely ignores the “I am pressed but not crushed / persecuted not abandoned…” part. What do you say about that? Because last I checked, that’s right out of 2 Corinthians!

I wonder if he has pondered the lyrics of Paul Baloche’s and Glenn Packiam’s “Your Name,” of The Brilliance’s “Mother of God” or “Our God Alone.” These are just a few that have entered our recent repertoire at University Lutheran Chapel. These are songs that sing of God’s salvation through Jesus—the name above all names! It took me a while of singing Joel Houston’s “The Stand” to fully realize the beauty of the Trinity in its three verses. The author of the blog would likely argue about where the song ends up (“so I’ll stand…”), but I would argue back that it is all in response to what God has done and what was sung about in the verses (“in awe of the One who gave it all”).

I am not (I pray) prideful enough to think I have it all figured out. There are songs I used to do that I don’t anymore. I believe discernment needs to be used in selecting music to be sung in our worship services—of both lyrical content and musical qualities. We have sung hymns with beautiful words that the congregation awkwardly stumbled over—in our traditional service! The same can be said about modern songs that just didn’t click, as well as songs whose poetry got in the way of the message.

Luther was about getting the Word of God and the worship of His people into the vernacular. “A Mighty Fortress” was a new song that first week, and took some getting used to. There were wonderful hymns written before Luther, and many written after. Some are still in our hymnal while others have dropped off. I do not think all modern worship music will stand the test of time, but there are some that will—songs that are wonderful testaments to who God is and what he has done for us.

May what we do as worship leaders (and as worshippers) bring glory to God and not sow seeds of division. Let iron sharpen iron. Bring light to darkness. Where words of truth need to be spoken, let them be rooted in God’s truth and not just subjective personal taste based on limited empirical evidence. Shock with the gospel, not with things of man.

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The Brilliance charts (finally)

I am so sorry I have not been a good steward about getting these up. But, finally, here they are.

Some of these are closer than others. If you have any questions (or corrections), please let me know.

Anybody have “Does Your Heart Break?”

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The Brilliance “Open Up” Chart

I’ve been meaning to start getting some of these up here for a while. If you are not familiar with The Brilliance, you need to be. They are fronted by David Gungor (the brother of Michael) and they are writing incredible music for the church. They are also opening for Gungor on their upcoming tour.

I’ve charted quite a few of their songs, and since I’m doing Open Up tomorrow I thought I’d get it uploaded to share. It is neither exact nor perfect, so if you have any questions or corrections, let me know.


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This is an old song of mine that I thought I’d throw on the site.


The other day Guy Sigsworth asked on Twitter about beautiful engineering accidents, and I referenced this track. For some of the ‘breaking apart’ toward the end, I took an empty mixer channel and sent its ‘signal’ to a digital delay. The delay was routed back into its own mixer channel, which I fed back to the delay. This (obviously) created a delayed feedback loop that I could tune by adjusting the send knobs on each channel.

Man, gotta get back to the studio…


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Worship Leader Product Endorsements?

So I’m recovering from a little outpatient surgery and Christine picks me up a copy of Men’s Health to flip through, and I see an ad for a new line of Paul Mitchell products geared toward men: Mitch.

In the ad, I see the product shown above. And yes, by “product” I mean both an item that a company sells as well as something you put in your hair to achieve a particular style.

So, as a self-proclaimed (as well as accused) quasi-metrosexual Lutheran worship leader, what’s a guy got to do to get a product endorsement? I mean, seriously.

Get it? Because Martin Luther was the O.G. reformer? And I’m a Lutheran? And I use product in my hair?

OK, back to work.

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Jim LePage: Word Bible Designs

I love when worlds collide.

The Twitter equivalent of this is when you follow, say, designers, Christian leaders, beer aficionados, and all those things culminate in people who meet all of those criteria.

That happened a few months ago when I stumbled upon @Jim_LePage. If I recall, it was via @abduzeedo. He’s a designer who is a Christian who appreciates fine craft beer. One day, I hope to sit down with him over a couple and discuss craft (design and beer) and faith.

LePage has been doing a cool long-term project called Word Bible Designs. He has been reading through the bible and then designing posters for each book . He is almost done with the project and is giving away three prints over the next few weeks.

You can enter to win by following the directions on his blog.

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Worship: to kiss towards

I learned a few years ago from Dan Kimball that one of the Greek words that we translate as “worship” is proskuneo which translates directly as “to kiss towards.”

I love that. It is full of action and love and devotion. I am reminded of the woman of ill repute who wet Jesus’ feet with her tears, drying them with her hair, kissing his feet and anointing them with expensive perfume. From the moment he entered the room, she hadn’t stopped “kissing toward” him.

This morning, I woke up with someone’s water bottle in the small of my back. Bella is normally an early riser; even though our clocks fell back an hour, her waking is still ahead an hour. So she had popped into our bed around 5 or so. Christine was already up and exercising (which I need to get myself doing), and Bella had fallen back asleep.

So back to waking with Bella’s water bottle in my back. I tried to softly dig it out, trying not to wake her, when she wraps her arm around me and kisses my shoulder. Kisses my cheek. Kisses my neck.

Just these soft, little kisses. Each one saying “I love you, Daddy.”


I didn’t say “If you love me, Bella, you’ll ‘kiss toward’ me.” This was an outpouring of love on her own. She was kissing me because she loved me. Because she knows how much I love her.

“Those are sweet kisses,” I said.

“I love you, Daddy,” she replied.

And I imagined, with only a glimmer, what God must feel when we “kiss toward” him as an outpouring of our love and devotion for him.

I love you, Daddy.

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Back up and running

After much waiting and procrastination and putting other things first (the cobbler’s children have no shoes), I finally have back up and running. This is going to be the portal for anything in which I’m involved.

One of the reasons I finally got this up is the encouragement I got at the GLOR10US Seminars for Worship conference to get some of my thoughts up and in the ether. I have felt for a while that I may have some things worth saying bouncing around (you can beg to differ—hey, that’s what the comments are for, right?).

So, here it is. Totally basic design to start. I’ll flesh that out as I go along. Content is king, anyway! I’ll be writing about media. About design. About worship, God, faith. About life.

Things that don’t necessarily fit in 140 characters.

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