Thousand Tongues (formerly Reformed Praise) is excited to share a new album project and ask for your help in accomplishing it. In case you haven't heard about our name change, you can read about it here.
It has been 2.5 years since our last album, Merciful to Me, and this fall we've sensed the Lord's promptings to begin another album. This album will be a bit different than the last one. Merciful to Me was a huge project, and was intended as a kind of introduction to our songs in general. We included 4 modern songwriters, used 5 studios in 4 cities, included dozens of musicians, and used extremely varied styles of music. The end result was really neat, but it was a very exhausting and involved project.
If we were to embark on another recording project anytime soon, I knew it would have to be one much simpler in scope. Over the past year, a vision for an album of mostly original songs, using just a few key musicians, crystallized. This project aims to present some of my own more recent original worship songs that have ministered both to the people of Redeemer Bible Church and...
Worship leader and songwriter David L. Ward will be hosting an evening of worship concert with friend and fellow singer-songwriter Jake Armerding on Friday, February 1st at 7pm. In addition, local singer-songwriter and friend Ben Rosenbush will be opening the show with several of his original songs. The concert will feature several of Minneapolis' best independent artists and will also be an opportunity to enjoy Redeemer Bible Church's brand new building in Minnetonka on Highway 7. The concert will be the culmination of a week of work by David and Jake on a new album for Thousand Tongues featuring songs by both artists written for congregational singing.
Where: Redeemer Bible Church, 16205 Highway 7, Minnetonka, MN 55345
When: Friday, February 1st, 7pm
Cost: $10/person, $20/family. Coffee will be served at the intermission
Tickets: At the door or pre-purchase using form to the right:
You may have noticed that we've been pretty quiet for the past 9 months or so. Part of the reason for that is a very busy season of building transitions at my (David's) home church. But another reason for this organizational sluggishness is that we are in the midst of our own transition. Some major changes have been happening to Reformed Praise behinds the scenes, and it's time to let you in on them.
First, we have become incorporated and are in the process of getting official non-profit status (501c3). The corporate structure helps us prepare for future growth with better accountability, and the non-profit status allows us to accept donations that are tax-deductible, including physical gifts. We have a board (the identities of which we will share in the coming months) and are excited to have more gifted leaders helping make decisions about our future.
Second, we have decided to change our name from Reformed Praise to Thousand Tongues (you can see the new logo at that link). Since we were in the process of a major structural change, the time seemed right to evaluate whether our name effectively summarized what we are all...
This song freshens up a 19th century hymn by George Robinson about the love of God that we experience in union with Jesus, and how that relationship affects our lives, particularly in how we view creation. Robinson says that "something lives in every hue Christless eyes have never seen." Once a person is born-again, or regenerated, it is like they are given new eyes, eyes to see the significance of Jesus in every formerly mundane aspect of the universe. As we experience the beauties of this world, we can truly say that Jesus' loveliness ever grows since we see Him - His beauty, His creative power, His tenderness - in creation. The song closes with the assurance that though "heaven and earth may fade and flee," in His arms we'll ever be. Let us rejoice in the amazing truth that we can say "I am His, and He is mine!"
The Bible records the response that people have when confronted with the presence of God in His holiness and might - they tremble in fear, usually sink to the ground prostrate, and seem to wish they were dead (Daniel actually almost died). But the Bible also records the tender and reassuring words of angels and the Lord Jesus to those lying in the dust before them: "do not fear." We will all face times of fear, whether it be times of acute awareness of our own sin before a holy God or times of struggle through life's difficulties. In the midst of these "waves of trouble," we need the anchor of that powerful voice that was able to calm the seas with a word, the voice of our loving Lord reminding us to take heart and do not fear, for He is near. We need to remember who God is - the sovereign ruler of the universe who is also our loving father. He has a wise and loving plan in every difficulty, and reminds us to trust and hold onto Him even when we can't understand the reason for our suffering. As you listen or sing, may you be encouraged with the beautiful truth that if you have put your trust in Jesus, you need not fear anything or anyone, for God has you securely in His hand.
This is a song about how the gospel rescues us from various kinds of struggle - doubt, guilt and shame, self-righteous striving, and pride. It is a song inspired by a couple of lines from Albert Midlane's obscure hymn "Sinner, Where Is Room for Doubting?" The gospel of Jesus' life and death as our only means of rescue from the penalty, power, and presence of sin is not just a message for non-Christians. The Christian life is characterized by struggle, or to use another biblical term, warfare. Though we are positionally righteous in Christ, we work out that righteousness in a glorious mystery as described in Philippians 2:12-12: "work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." The work of sanctification can be described as applying the gospel's transforming power to specific areas in our hearts where sin remains. That's what this song is all about - filling our minds and hearts so full of the gospel that there is no more room for our spiritual idolatry. The more captivated we become in Jesus - all He is for us and all He has done for us - the less we will run to idols for meaning, significance, and pleasure.
When the church gathers for worship and a preacher opens the Bible, God's very word, what should we be hoping will happen? We want to meet with the living God, the God of the living Word, in such a way that we see and celebrate Jesus, and leave with his unmistakable imprint upon our lives. The reason the Lord gave us His Word was to know, trust, and grow in our relationship with Him who every page points to - the great Redeemer. This song is a prayer meant to be sung before the sermon in public or gathered worship. In it we ask God to grant us submissiveness to the Bible, soft hearts and readily acknowledge and own our sin, and the desire to leave our encounter joyful and refreshed. We also ask for the Spirit's help, for without his work, the Bible would be just another book. And most importantly, we ask that God would show us Jesus - in every sermon - in every book of the Bible - that we would have "faith on Christ to look."
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16
Perhaps one of the most oft-quoted verses of the Bible, John 3:16 may also be one of the least-believed. Though here in the west we have probably heard that God loves us a thousand times, we often live like it's not true. We live in loneliness, fear, or insecurity, and those struggles ultimately have their root in unbelief - unbelief that God loves us and has promised to take care of us. This song is a cry for help - help believing in the unbreakable love of God... help in the midst of pain, doubt, and anxiety; help believing in the objective truth of Scripture: "In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10). We don't have assurance that God loves us because of how we feel or how we are doing spiritually; rather, God demonstrated His love at the cross that we might be anchored by His love even when we feel like we're being blown away by the struggles of life and the struggles of our own sinfulness. Believer, be encouraged today that God loves you even when you don't feel it.
This modern hymn was written for a sermon series in Acts, and is a prayer for strength to accomplish the mission for which God created the church - to spread the gospel of His grace to every tribe and tongue, giving testimony by word and deed of the mercy of God shown in giving His Son to rescue sinners for His glory. As we sing this song, we are triumphantly proclaiming God's rightful rule over us, His people, and expressing our dependency on His Spirit's work in our midst to empower us for His gospel mission. We're not called simply to preach the gospel, but to treasure it, to sing it. We're not called simply to share a statement, but the living Word of God, giving proof of its power to transform people through our own ransomed lives. And when we feel weak, unfit, or scared at the immensity of what God calls us to do and the dangers we face along the way, may he "strengthen hand and heart and nerve" that we might be "champions of Calvary!"
We don't often post songs that aren't directly related to Christian worship (though if understood broadly, any song can be a "worship song"), but this time we're going to share a song and ask for your help. A friend tipped me off to a songwriting contest that Martin Guitars is having this month, and though I managed to write a song and submit it the same day I found out about it, there's not much time left for voting. The idea of the contest was to write a 2-3m song with the word "lifespan" in it and post a recording (with guitar) to YouTube. I decided to write a blues song based on Psalm 90 and some themes in Ecclesiastes in order to share bits of the gospel to whomever happens upon this song whether through Martin's website or just through YouTube. While it's certainly not as overt about the gospel as the songs you might find here that are geared towards public worship, I'm still trying to bear witness to Jesus in the world of singer-songwriters.