NEW: The Neverclaim (CD); Book: Financial Peace (Ramsey); Article: "Songs As Values"
Welcome to Digital Worship News, Edition 79. This issue includes 3 different resources. First is "Songs As Values" is is an article about how songs express and define our values in churches and movements- a great article for worship leaders, pastors and leaders. Second is a book review of "Financial Peace (revisited)", a book on personal finances by radio talk host Dave Ramsey. Finally, third is an album review of the great worship album from the new worship band, "The Neverclaim"!
blessings, Kim Gentes
ARTICLE: "Songs As Values: Vineyard Distinctives"
Seth Godin had it right. We are all part of a tribe. You might be a Star Trek geek (trekkie by name) or a muse or hipster or affiliate with any number of various tribes that you relate to. When it comes to faith communities, many of us are the same way- we often relate to a specific tribe that feels like "home" for us. I have had the blessing of visiting a number of faith community "tribes" from Catholic to Methodist to Pentecostal to Baptist (and a few variations thereof) to Charismatic to monastic orders to Vineyard.
I remember the first time I walked into a Vineyard meeting in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada in the summer of 1987. So riveting is that moment in my mind that I can remember the smell of the air from the Frazer Valley, the dense scent of fresh cut grass and the humidity. The session I walked into was being led by worship leader Andy Park, who would later become one the primary mentors that would help me in my worship journey of learning, leadership, and later equipping and resourcing.
Fast forward 25 years. A friend of mine, Dan Wilt, was teaching a class on worship values- a session to identify and refocus our minds and hearts on the core principles we should remember in worship. A couple month's before that, a pastor friend taught a series on the essential truths found in some hymns and songs- he asked me what five songs I would use to teach values in worship. These kinds of questions- highlighting the link between songs and values- are important ones to work through. They are important because, in the hearts and minds of people everywhere, songs have as much influence on the theology and practice of Christians as sermons and teachings.
"Financial Peace" Personal finance books can sometimes sound about as exciting as an economic history textbook. But personal finance has a profound impact on the average person and family. Dave Ramsey is a radio show personality based in Nashville who has become successful as a speaker and author in the area of personal finance.
His first book, Financial Peace, has grown into a seminar, course and nationwide educational phenomenon having literally thousands of centers (mostly churches) that host the personal finance course called "Financial Peace University". The goal, as the title indicates, is to train people to gain peace in the area of finances.
In reading through this book, I started off with a fairly critical perspective. I am not the kind of person who likes listening to radio personalities that publicly berate callers on the topic of their “expertise”. I knew that Ramsey had a public persona of hard-nosed and I feared his book would be pompous and self-aggrandizing. I was wrong.
“Financial Peace Revisited” is a pointed book, for sure, but it is tempered with the care of a person who has lived through real life. Some of the book relates Ramsey’s personal story of rags to riches to rags and back again- including a growing a successful real estate business that crashed and burned, and his later recovery and learning process out of personal debt into long term financial “peace”. It is from this personal experience that Dave Ramsey tells not only his story, but the touch-stones of common sense that led him away from the common American family cycle of financial mismanagement.
About a year ago I was listening to fresh sound of worship from a live recording at a Vineyard youth conference. One of the main voices on that project was Jeremiah Carlson. You could tell then that Jeremiah and the band, called the Neverclaim, were just starting to make their passionate sound and infectious songs known. This last month the inaugural album from the Neverclaim was released through Provident/Essential Worship. The project is great!
But more than just a great music, Jeremiah and the Neverclaim are the real deal- real worshipers who lead just as passionately in a small group of a handful of people as they do in front of a crowd of thousands...
This project launches with the great song Revival, a melodic song with punched-in electric guitars, power chord vamps and a memorable chorus. The chorus exposes the thoughtfulness of Jeremiah's writing- the lyrics are compact and powerful, drawing together the commitment of the believer, the supremacy of Christ and the hope for change at the hand of Jesus- the change we call "revival"-
We were made for such a time as this
When every knee will bow and tongue confess
Jesus Christ for who he really is- revival, revival!
Music is well arranged anthem rock displaying the benefits of a studio well used- great layered guitars and tight vocals that highlight the musical advantages of this group....