Archive | Music

Kenwood Music: “Hope of Every Promise”

Kenwood Music is a ministry of the church where I serve as associate pastor. Under the direction of Matt Damico, they have just released a new album titled Hope of Every Promise. Matt Damico wrote the words and music for most of the songs on the album with one credit going to singer Bethany Breland.

This really is an outstanding set of worship songs Matt has put together, and I highly recommend it to you. You can watch and listen to the lyric video for the song “Good to Know the Father” above. But even better than that, you can buy and download the entire album from iTunes, Amazon, or Bandcamp.

Christmas in Kentucky… Everywhere it’s Christmas!

On his most recent Christmas album, Steven Curtis Chapman has a song about returning to his hometown of Paducah, Kentucky for Christmas. But this song is not sappy nostalgia along the lines of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” or “Tennessee Christmas.” Christmas is not parochial and narrow. It’s about what God has done and is doing in the whole world. And for the whole world. As Chapman puts it, “Everywhere it’s Christmas.”

In the video above, you can hear the song in its entirety as well as read the lyrics. I recommend that you do both. If you haven’t bought this album since I last wrote about it, I still highly recommend it. You can get it here.

The man who sings funny “O Holy Night” revealed!

Many of you will be familiar with the hilarious internet meme that comes around every Christmas involving a truly horrid rendition of “O Holy Night.” I have posted the song on this site in the past. If somehow you haven’t managed to hear it yet, here’s your chance:


For years, this piece of Christmas candy has floated around the internet without attribution or provenance. Nobody knew where it came from, although there were some pretenders who took credit for it. Continue Reading →

Prince: “Don’t die without knowing the cross.”

I’m still absorbing the news that Prince has died. I confess that this was like a punch in the gut for me. Little known fact: I’m a huge fan of the artist formerly known as “the artist formerly known as Prince.” His music was the soundtrack of about a decade of my young life. In some ways, that is a sad commentary because so much of what he sang about was foul and salacious. But that is not why I was listening. I was listening because he was a musical genius—a kind of post-modern cross between James Brown and Jimi Hendrix, but better than both of them. Continue Reading →

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Death, Be Not Proud


Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

———-
Poem: “Death, Be Not Proud” (Holy Sonnet 10), by John Donne
Music Credit: Audrey Assad, “Death, Be Not Proud”

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The Remarkable Woman behind ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’

Karen Swallow Prior has a fascinating piece at TGC about the author of “In the Bleak Mid-Winter.” Her name is Christina Rossetti (1830–1894), and Prior writes that she was a woman of “deep Christian conviction.” Prior concludes:

The paradox of Rossetti’s life is that her “spirit of self-postponement” produced some of the finest Christian poetry written—the gift of herself, given to her Savior and received by the world.

I commend to you the rest of Prior’s essay, which you can read here. I also recommend two versions of the song that are staples around my house during this time of year. My favorite version is Shawn Colvin’s, and a close second is from the Indigo Girls. The audio and lyrics are below. Enjoy. Continue Reading →

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Christmas in Kentucky… Everywhere It’s Christmas

On his most recent Christmas album, Steven Curtis Chapman sings a song about returning to his hometown of Paducah, Kentucky for Christmas. One might expect a song like this one to be sappy nostalgia along the lines of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” or “Tennessee Christmas,” but it’s not. This is not the song of a child, but the song of a grown man who’s walked long enough with God to know that Christ came not just for folks like him but for the whole world. It’s the best news in the world. I love this song.

In the video above, you can hear the song in its entirety as well as read the lyrics. I recommend that you do both. If you haven’t bought this album since I last wrote about it, I still highly recommend it. You can get it here.

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No Grave Could Keep – by Kenwood Music

The worship team from Kenwood Baptist Church—where I serve as one of the pastors—has just released a recording of some of the songs we sing in worship. I love this music, and I love these songs. My fellow elder Matt Damico is the leader of this group, and I am so very grateful for him, his team, and how they lead us in song every week. You can buy the album on iTunes or Amazon, but I would encourage you purchase through Bandcamp.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if pressed I guess I would choose “All I Need.” It’s a rendering of the end of Psalm 73:

My heart and my flesh will fail me,
but my God, You’re all I ever need.
You are my strength and my portion,
You are everything, O Lord You carry me.
My God, You’re enough for me.

You can download here or listen/download below. Continue Reading →

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Hymn to God the Father

One of my favorite poems of all time is “Hymn to God the Father” by John Donne. If you are not familiar with this poem, you need to be. Donne composed this piece near the end of his life when he was facing death (circa 1631). As he contemplates his demise, he is overcome with a sense of his own sinfulness, and he wonders how he will stand at the judgment. Donne evokes all the anguish of the “wretched man” in Romans 7:24 before he sounds a final note of hope that Jesus will rescue him at the last day.

There is a wonderful play on the word “done” in this poem, and you’ll note that it can either mean “done” or “Donne” (as in John Donne). It really is beautiful, and you can read the full text below. Continue Reading →

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