A Singing Faith

We find from the Bible that ours is a singing faith. The people of God are ALWAYS singing: From the shores of the Red Sea to the shores of the Promised Land; from the Book of Exodus to the last chapter of Revelation. And then there are the many songs in the Book of Psalms and all the canticles: both those from the New Testament and those from the Old… Read More »

A Lesson from King Nebuchadnezzar

In our daily devotions this week, my wife and I have been reading the Book of Daniel. After reading Chapter 3, it occurred to me that for some reason we have a tendency to turn the gifts God gives us into idols. This seems to be what King Nebuchadnezzar did in Daniel 3. In the previous chapter, God gave him a dream about a statue that only Daniel could interpret.… Read More »

Did You Know That the Lord Rejoices Over Us?

Today’s Verse of the Day from the YouVersion Bible really struck me. We tend to think that it is our “job” to rejoice in God and what He has done for us. But, here is a remarkable passage from the prophet Zephaniah that helps us realize that actually it is the other way around. The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will… Read More »

Prelude for Divided Viola (String Orchestra)

Are you looking for a work to challenge your viola section? You might want to consider this Prelude for Divided Viola. It is an arrangement for strings of my chorale prelude on the hymn “Jesus, Priceless Treasure,” a tune made famous by the J. S. Bach motet. The violas are busy from beginning to end and use the full range of their instrument. Your violas will LOVE this challenge and… Read More »

Fantasia on VENI EMMANUEL (String Quartet or Orchestra)

I was fiddling around with playback feature in Finale and the Garritan ARIA Player and discovered that my motet on “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” sounds really good with just strings alone, so here it is arranged for strings. This arrangement would work with either a string orchestra or a string quartet. If you are looking for a joint work for your next Christmas (or holiday concert), it could also… Read More »

JESU, MEINE FREUDE (Organ – Chorale Prelude)

Here is a setting for organ of the great German pietistic hymn “Jesus, Priceless Treasure” that I composed back in my college days. The text of the hymn is by Johann Franck and first appeared as a six stanza hymn in Johann Crüger’s Praxis Pietatis Melica (1653) to a tune presumably by Crüger. The hymn was made famous by J. S. Bach’s motet that used all six stanzas. The text appears… Read More »

Fanfare on “Christ is Arisen” (SATB w/ Organ, Brass, and Timpani)

Just completed a new piece for Easter: Fanfare on “Christ is Arisen” for mixed choir, brass quartet, timpani, and organ. Hope you find it useful. It begins with a theme that my Associate Pastor said reminded him of Aslan, you know the great and powerful lion from the C. S. Lewis book The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe who as a character has many similarities to Christ. That theme serves… Read More »

What is Lent?

The season of Lent is a “season” of the Church Year – a time for somber reflection on our sin and our sinful nature. It is a time for penitence and confession and a time to receive God’s forgiveness – to hear with new ears and open hearts and minds how much our God loves us. As the liturgical year developed in the Christian church, Lent became a forty-day penitential… Read More »

The Gift of the Liturgical Year

As we come across another milestone in the Liturgical Year, I’m reminded of the great gift that the Liturgical Year is to those who practice it. The greatest gift is that the Liturgical Year helps to keep our attention focused on the person, the work, and the teachings of Jesus Christ. And that’s what the Christian faith is all about, isn’t it?

What’s So Great About Choral Music Anyway? – Part 2

Upon reading 1 Chronicles 23-25, many people do not realize that the establishment and organization of the worship and music of the tabernacle and temple was not done so at the whim of King David, but rather because it had been ordained and instituted by God. In his book The Lord’s Song: The Basis, Function and Significance of Choral Music in Chronicles, the renowned Australian Lutheran theologian Dr. John Kleinig points… Read More »