May 24, 2019

Pastor Ron approached me anxiously as I slid my guitar back onto its stand.


"Phil," he was saying, "I can finally put it into words." 


I looked at him blankly.


"I can explain it now," he continued. "The problem I have with contemporary worship. I figured it out wh...

April 2, 2019

"We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.  Enter His gates with thanksgiving." 
- King David, Psalm 100
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" 

- King Jesus, John 15

While I don't know much about those white, fluffy animals Scripture talks...

March 4, 2019

I understand now why it didn't work.

In all honesty, my blues version of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" was a poor choice for an offertory meditation.  

And since I was just 13 years old, my keyboard chops were - to put it kindly - a little rough.

Neither of these...

January 31, 2019

Bill Murray's humor is one of my guilty pleasures and Groundhog Day (1993) is a high watermark. He’s a hoot as the surly, self-consumed weatherman Phil Connors. Given the chemistry between Murray and Andie McDowell (Rita), Groundhog Day wins on its merits as a romantic...

January 9, 2019

After interviewing hundreds of psalmists, I can safely say that worship leaders are a special breed. They nurture the souls of sensitive singers, and encourage brusque sound guys to be...less blunt. They see the gifted drummer within a goofy 9-year-old. Worship leaders...

December 2, 2018

Maybe it’s those four descending piano notes. Or the familiar phrases that stair-step with authority. Maybe the ever-surprising D7 chord? Any of these could make “His Name is Wonderful” timeless; the piece is beautifully crafted. It's held its ground as a model praise...

November 2, 2018

West of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, there's a little town called Belle Plaine.  The name means "Beautiful Prairie," and it still is.  Rolling green hills and wide valleys of rich, fertile land.  Add a bit of water, and Belle Plaine is a slice of heaven....

October 2, 2018

Reginald Fitzwalter and his lovely bride Judith had just celebrated their first anniversary. He was Lord of the Manor in Dunmow, England...and a man of means.

"If I was a common laborer and not Lord of this Manor," Reginald asked Lady Judith, "would you still love me?"

"...

September 5, 2018

       The mixing console was right next to the drill press, and we stored our taped archives in a stack of Tupperware containers.  When Jim and I pieced together a rag-tag recording studio in his garage, "Low Budget" was the perfect name for it.

...

July 18, 2018

 According to Curly, the Cowboy Philosopher of City Slickers, life comes down to just "ONE THING."  But then Curly fudges, and says we each have to figure out what that ONE THING is!   While Curly was probably on to something, King David put a much finer point on it:...

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