Monday, April 30, 2007

Sing Him a New Song?

I recently got the chance to speak to a Jr. high and high school group about Christian art and how it is our responsibility as believers to make the best works possible to glorify God. After giving the talk I was convicted about my rule as a worship leader. I don't have an official rule, but in the Bible study my wife and I attend I typically lead the worship. I've long felt that there needs to be new worship music written in the Church, music which better glorifies God. So I decided that since my thesis is (basically) finished, I should work on writing some new songs. For the last hour I played the guitar and tried to come up with something, but everything I write sounds superficial, phony, mediated, trivial, or irreverent. I want to write something that evokes that loving awe we should have for God, something which isn't focused on "me" and "I," something that sounds like it is humble before the Lord instead of just saying it is. I don't know where to start. Any ideas? Help? Pointers? Advice?

For some of my other thoughts on this topic, read this old blog post.


Pablo said...

Hmmm...Well, I once wrote a allegorical story about how God is a gardener and we are like white flowers looking innocent; the flowers will not admit they are weeds and deserve to be casted into the fire.

Leah said...

I have not told you enough that I appreciate you leading worship in small group. And, while I cannot say whether the worship music you share with us is the best you could potentially share I know that we have much better worship because you are present. The group we are involved with on Sunday afternoons has been meeting for 15 years, singing the same songs, in the same wrong keys (usually way too high- which makes it difficult for almost everyone to sing), and never really making an effort to improve, simply accepting mediocrity as a lack of talent. All this to say, I appreciate it that you don't want to get (or maybe continue) in a rut.
Okay, now a thought that crossed my mind as far as writing original worship music is that it could be really neat to paraphrase psalms, make it rhyme in English and update the language. The Psalms wouldn't sound hokey and if anything is worshipful the Psalms are. Do songwriters usually get a song (the actual music) in their heads first before the lyrics or vice versa?

noneuclidean said...

Thanks for the encouragement and advice. I'll definitely try paraphrasing psalms, and also old hymns. So far, the real problem I'm having is musical. The best way to describe it is sincerity. I need to write something that worships God sincerely. If that makes sense.

Stejahen said...

The Psalms are what came to my mind too.

Also, this is off-topic, but, did you know about this:

And one more thing, do you ship your CD to APO addresses?

noneuclidean said...

Blood Meridian the movie. It's exciting and scary all at once. If it does come out I might not see it, having spent so much time with the novel, I think I can safely say that there are many images in the novel that ought to stay in words. The novel's not for the faint hearted, the movie runs the risk of simply appealing to thrill seekers.

Stejahen said...

An APO address is usually an over sees military address, but with the same price and service as a normal in-states address. I have a friend in the marines I want to buy your CD for.

But back on topic. I think a lot of music lends it's self more to being listened to then to sing in worship.

I like a lot of old hymns, by, say St. Francis and Martin Luther, etc. A lot of the hymns written in the 1800s seem semi-gnostic or trite to me, though there are plenty of good ones.

On Blood Meridian, I've not yet read it, but I'll have to. Speaking of books being turned to movies, I'm reading the Brothers Karamazov right now, and as much as I love film, I'm kind of glad there are no mainstream films based on Dostoevsky. Imagine trying to read one of his novels while seeing action-packed tv-spots for the blockbuster coming out next summer.